For this weeks BWD: Baking with Dorie Challenge, it was Grapefruit's pick once again and she decided on Lots-Of-Ways Banana Cake on Page 204 and 205 in Dorie Greenspan's book
I was ecstatic when I heard about this pick since I really love banana cake, as does the rest of my family. I've been making a great chocolaty banana cake for a long time so this recipe had to measure up to this old family favorite.
The recipe itself is more of a guide line. Dorie gives a lot of suggestions as to what ingredients you can use but ultimately with this recipe the sky is the limit since there are so many flavor combinations possible. Practically, besides the flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and bananas, nothing is written in stone, and it is up to the individual baker as to where to go from there.
I had a hard time trying to decide which direction I wanted to take with this cake since all the combinations sounded so delicious, but I finally settled on a tropical version. In addition to coconut rum, unsweetened coconut milk and sweetened coconut flakes, I added chopped dried mango and dried pineapple to the batter.
Since I had just made a two layer cake for Easter I did not want to go this route again so I decided to just use my Wilton 17 by 11 inch cookie sheet that I lined with parchment paper. I baked the cake for 25 minutes and it came out perfect. I let it cool and then proceeded to frost it with a simple sweetened whipped cream. I sprinkled some more of the dried pineapple and mango on top and cut it into bars.
The cake itself was moist right out of the oven, but the magic happened over night. The dried fruit had absorbed some of the cakes moisture and plumped up inside the cake as well as on top of the frosting. The flavors worked wonderful together and considering my husband brought home an empty cake carrier, I'm thinking his colleagues at work liked it as well.
Did it measure up to my recipe of chocolate banana cake? It did but differently, I still like the chocolate banana version better, but will add this tropical kind into my recipe files for future baking adventures. I think this is a wonderful cake that screams sunshine. As always, Dorie Greenspan and her phenomenal recipes do not disappoint.
Check out Grapefruit's page for the recipe and Elizabeth's page to see what they thought about this cake and what twist on this recipe they came up with.
For our next BWD in two weeks (the 26th of April) it is Elizabeth's pick with The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart on Page 331 and 332. So if any of this has peeked your interest and you want to join the fun with us next time, just shoot me or Grapefruit an email and we'd be more than happy to have you.