Why don’t all fruit age like bananas do? The older bananas get, the more flavour they have. Sure they get a little disfigured as they transform from strong, bright and yellow to a shrunken brown blob, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts and they’re delicious! So why aren’t more fruit like this? If you buy a pint of raspberries and even one of the little suckers starts to go, you have to throw out the lot of them because one bad berry will spoil the bunch. A perfectly ripe pineapple is sweet and wonderfully juicy but as soon as it crosses the line into overripe, watch out! I can understand that some people don’t like to eat bananas once they become freckled and mushy, but you have to appreciate their value in baked goods. Bananas aren’t afraid to let their flavour shine, there’s no holding them back. Bananas equal flavour. It’s a good thing too because as I’m sure you’ve noticed, this is my fourth post in a row that features bananas. I was given a whole lot of them but this cake used up the remaining three. And what a cake it was!
I wish I had a shot of the interior of this cake because I’m sure it looked pretty interesting. I didn’t even get to see it as it was shipped off for someone’s birthday. I baked this cake in a stainless steel mixing bowl and unfortunately I found out when I sliced it in half to put a filling in between layers, that the middle was not fully cooked. I wouldn’t even call it semi-cooked. It was raw. But all around it was cooked, there was just this ball of goo in the middle that wasn’t. What to do, what to do? Luckily, I had made a couple cupcakes out of the batter to use for the monkey ears and that got me thinking… I took a spoon and scooped out the raw dough and plunked one of the cupcakes in the resulting hole. Then, I took the salted butter chocolate caramel that I had leftover from my failed attempt at making caramel candies and poured it around the cupcake to fill in any remaining space. I also spread the caramel over the rest of the middle layer before sticking the top half of the cake back on. I was pretty impressed with myself for thinking of this but I’m not sure how it looked when the final cake was cut into. The icing is a cream cheese icing for the yellow and a peanut butter cream cheese icing for the brown. Mmmmm, icing… The cake is courtesy of the queen of good things herself, Martha Stewart, but the icing was my own creation. On the whole, you can’t go wrong with a banana cake with a caramel middle and peanut butter and cream cheese icing. Martha Stewart’s recipe for the cake can be found here. And my improvised icing was something like: 8 oz of cream cheese combined with 1/3 cup butter, ½ cup peanut butter and 2 cups of icing sugar, mixed together with the Kitchenaid until smooth. Yes, it was rich. Go big or go home!