Thursday, April 19, 2012

Banana-Rum Birthday Cake

This is my 100th post on this blog! I was torn between writing about my weekend in Williamsburg, and this post. This won, though. I decided I had to do a recipe for my 100th post!

For my mom's birthday, I made her a Banana-Rum Cake with Browned Butter Frosting. It was amazing, if I do say so myself. Once again, the recipe is from the Joy the Baker Cookbook. This will probably be my last Joy the Baker recipe post for awhile, since she'll probably sue the pants off me if I post every recipe in her cookbook! Maybe she'll forgive me if everyone goes and buys her book.

Some of my cakes have been coming out really dense lately. I'm not sure why.... This one came out perfectly, though. There was some... confusion... about the cake situation, and I didn't know if I'd be making one till late, so I didn't have time to decorate it. Mom had some candles to blow out, though, and my cake decorating skills aren't very impressive, so it was probably better this way!

Banana-Rum Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

For the cake:
3 C. flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. unsalted butter - softened
1 3/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 1/4 C. (about 4) mashed bananas
3 Tbsp. rum
3 eggs
1/2 C. plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 C. chopped pecans

For the frosting:
3/4 C. salted butter
3 C. powdered sugar - sifted
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. rum
1/2 C. heavy cream

- Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

- To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add mashed bananas and rum and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

- With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until almost completely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing by hand, to avoid over-mixing. Fold in the pecans.

- Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cakes rest in the pans for about 20 minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

- For the frosting: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until browned in color and nutty in fragrance. (As the butter heats, foam will form on top, and brown bits will settle on the bottom. This is normal, and the bits are where all the flavor is!) Pour the browned butter into a small bowl to cool.

- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low, and pour in the cooled browned butter in a stream. Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla and rum. Beat until mixed well - a couple of minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the cream. Increase the speed back to medium and beat until smooth and creamy. If it's too thick, add some more cream; if it's too thin, add some more powdered sugar. Spread between the layers and on the top and sides of the (completely cooled) cake.

It's a bit of an intimidating recipe, but it's worth it! It's sweet and banana-y and browned butter-y. It's a great combination of flavors. Definitely one of my favorite cakes, and browned butter is my new favorite thing!

In other news, there will be a post coming up about my apartment hunting weekend and my new apartment in VA! For now, go and make this cake. You can share it if you want. There would be no shame in eating the whole thing yourself. You may just want to find a treadmill afterwards.


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