This could be my last post. I’m taking a risk. Some government guys in black helicopters may object to what I am about to say.
I’ve been seeing small silver disks. Everywhere. Lots and lots and lots of them.
They could be a threat.
Suzen keeps telling me that is nonsense. She’s just freezing her new, moistest, bestest thing: layers of pound cake with fruit.
We got this remarkable book, Piece of Cake: Homemade Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen. It has lots and lots of recipes I would like Suzen to try:
- Spiced Pecan Frosting
- Coconut Buttermilk Cake
- Lemon Lavender Scone
- Toffee Walnut Brownies
- Blueberry Sour Cream Cake
- Caramel Frosting
Lot of things. But will she do them? No. All she does is this pound cake with fruit. She keeps buying pears. And making cakes. We have, honestly, run out of freezer space. She’s giving them away. If you are near Tribeca, please drop by. Get a cake. We need space for ice cream.
This is a great cake. It’s one that even I don’t think needs frosting. It’s moist, buttery and wonderful. How good is it? Even Suzen eats the batter. It’s sooooo good. You eat the batter and you know the cake will be wonderful.
I do like the pears. I’m not quite tired of them. I can’ wait for berry season.
In the meantime, if you want a superior baking book, then I heartily recommend Piece of Cake.
Fresh Fruit Coffee Cake
Yield: Serves 12 to 16.
- 4 ½ cup all-purpose Flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking Soda
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or Grand Marnier
- 2 cups Ripe berries (or fruit of choice- diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°E Butter a 10-inch tube pan, line the bottom with parchment, dust the sides with flour, and tap out any excess.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla or Grand Marnier. In yet another bowl, toss the fruit with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture, to prevent it from sinking to the bottom while baking. Set the bowls aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to incorporate each egg fully before adding the next.
As always, scrape the bowl as needed along the way. On low speed, alternately ‘add the flour and buttermilk mixtures in 3 to 4 parts, mixing only until Just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the fresh fruit with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top as necessary.
Bake for about 90 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a small knife emerges clean. If need be, cover the cake loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. Cool the cake in the pan for 45 minutes before releasing it. While this may seem too long a cooling period, it allows the fruit juices to set within the cake to prevent it from falling apart when you release it from the pan.
Finish this either with a simple lemon glaze or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. [Or, as Suzen and I do, just eat plain with great cup of coffee.]
Source: Piece of Cake: Homemade Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen
The secret to a long marriage is to avoid confrontation. That takes time. And in the course of that time, the marriage can be strained or flail or fail.
I’m in the safe zone with Suzen. At least five days a week.
She is very sensitive to her cooking. It’s almost, always good to great. But even good things have aspects that deserve comment. Not criticism. Just a word or two. A suggestion. Some loving help.
Very thin ice with Suzen. Very thin.
She was serving banana cake last night for dessert. Suzen has a few favorite dessert recipes and they happen to be plain cakes. Plain, single layer, made in quantity, frozen in advance and readily defrosted for a wonderful ending to a dinner. Last night’s banana cake was ready to eat and delicious sitting there. One layer, no frosting. [You can find the recipe on the blog by searching for Banana Cake from Sweet Chick].
But, I consider plain cake to be plain and sometimes, okay all the time, I want some glamour at the end. It’s dessert, not some religious observance.
So, I searched and found a banana sauce that could be made in less than 10 minutes. It’s really good. My recipe below is an amendment of a sauce from tasteofhome.com. My changes involve a bit more maple syrup and using port instead of rum extract. Extract? Please. I understand the need to avoid alcohol at times, but using rum — or even better port — makes for a far better flavor.
Here’s the thing about banana cake. The layers tend to be dry. Although made with buttermilk or sour cream, those banana cake layers are rarely moist, the way say a chocolate layer can be. While the bananas are largely liquid like any fruit, there is enough “mass” there to sop up the liquid ingredients. By the time you are done and baked, the banana layer may be packed with taste, but your mouth would appreciate some frosting. Or this sauce.
Here you go.
Oh, Suzen’s opinion: “This is really good.”
The defense rests.
Brian’s Banana Sauce
Yield: 2 cups including the bananas
- ¾ cups packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 bananas, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 2-4 tablespoons of port, depending on your flavor preference
- Something to put the sauce on: cake, ice cream, a spoon, your finger [let it cool first]
In a medium sauce pan [not small because you will be adding over a cup of bananas], place the brown sugar, butter, cream and maple syrup. Stir to mix. Turn the heat on to medium-high and bring to just a simmer. Cook while stirring for 4-5 minutes. If you desire, cook longer to reduce the sauce and thicken it.
Stir in the bananas. Remove from the heat. Stir in the port.
Serve over cake, ice cream, …
Source: Brian O’Rourke