Let them eat cake!

In case you haven’t noticed….I’m back!

Despite recent sad circumstances, I’m happy to report that my head cold is long gone, and my chiropractor has given me the green light to resume normal activity, and to especially do things that relax me, since stress was a major factor of my sprain. Let me tell you my friends….when your body says slow down…you should listen!

So…when I think about relaxing…and needing to celebrate a return to good health…

…are you following me…?

Let’s say it all together.

CAKE!!

Not just any cake…but a delicious, succulent, and deceptively rich but light banana cake.

Oh yeah.

Just look at this baby. I think you’ll agree.

This isn’t exactly a Thursday dinner feature, but I think you’ll forgive me. And hey…cake for dinner?!

Since I used two different recipes for this cake – one for the frosting and one for the cake itself, I’m going to just let you follow the PDF links to get the actual recipe, and I’ll just give a general run-down on how to make it.

This cake was pretty much made just like any other cake. Add a little flour, add a little sugar. The only thing different is this:

YUM. Doesn’t that make you want to eat bananas?!?

I promise I don’t let these things rot in my house. Bananas are one of the few things I tend to buy way more than I need of. Because when they start to reach that spotty, over-ripe phase where neither Scott or I will touch them, I just stick them straight into the freezer.

When I’m ready to make my usual banana bread (and now, this incredible cake), I pull out as many as I need and let them thaw out completely. The result is the perfect, mushy, ripe banana, ready to be baked with. Even if it is pretty gross to look at and touch. Hmm.

To get your mind off those icky bananas, watch this. I promise it will help. Would I ever lead you astray?

Sorry for the poor video quality. It was the only full version I could find on YouTube.

Now that we’ve gone down that bunny trail…here’s a few more pretty pictures of the cake.

That beautiful frosting was different than most to make. I had been searching for something that wasn’t your typical heavy buttercream, because for some reason, it just seemed to me that banana cake shouldn’t have a dense frosting.

And that was when I stumbled upon Seven-Minute Frosting in my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. And let me tell you…my world has been changed forever. I was a little intimidated at first by its lack of butter, and the fact that I had to make a meringue-y substance over heat. But I decided to be bold and try it out.

The process was impressively and surprisingly easy – it just took some patience. Sadly, I have no photos of the process because Scott wasn’t home at the time and this definitely required both of my hands – no juggling allowed. You create a double-boiler-like situation, but with a large saucepan and a large glass bowl. A standard double-boiler just isn’t large enough for when this begins to double…triple…quadruple in volume.

The only glass bowl I had in my house has a large handle on the side, so I had to stand there and hold it upright (wearing an oven mitt, of course), throughout the entire process. Thus the juggling. When I finally invest in a large bowl (Pyrex would do beautifully), this could easily be a one-handed adventure and I’ll snap photos of the entire thing. But I digress.

So you add water to your bottom pan, get it simmering, put your egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and corn syrup  into your glass bowl and set it over the water.

And here’s where your patience comes in. Grab your hand mixer, and whip that mixture to death for 7 minutes. Then remove it from the heat, and whip it to death for 2 more minutes. Or in the words of one of my favorite authors…”whip it into submission.” (Name that book/movie.)

Whipping something with an electric hand mixer seems like eternity to the girl who can barely make it through the 2 minutes it takes to whip up a cake mix, but with a good TV sitcom on in the background (and the intense desire not to drop your glass bowl that you’re balancing precariously onto your foot and get third degree burns)….it really all just flies by. And that is the extent of the difficulty of this recipe. If you can stand in one place for seven minutes with an electric hand mixer, you can make this recipe.

And the result is FANTASTIC. It can be used immediately, and it makes an absolute ton of frosting – so if you’re on a baking marathon for your kid’s latest bake sale…this recipe goes a long, long way. I frosted a double-layer cake very liberally and still had about 2 cups leftover. And that’s with licking my fingers at every turn. Yum.

As you can see, it also accommodates a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle on top quite nicely.

This was a huge hit with my volunteer cake-eaters, so hurry! Check out the recipes now. And bake this up for your weekend. You won’t regret it. I promise.

Seven-Minute Frosting

Banana Cake

Happy Thursday!

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