Over Christmas, my sister, who never seems to visit without bearing gifts, whatever the time of year, brought me some great little -- literally little -- bananas. Two bunches. One regular yellow colored; the other bunch, red. They were about half the size of a normal banana and just the right size for me. It's all about portion control.
Still, after a week of eating them daily*, I wasn't fast enough and they were starting to get pretty ripe. While the baby bananas really taste no different than their regular sized cousins, they, sensitive souls that they are, do tend to bruise more easily and their skin is a bit thinner, so they were getting soft faster too. I simply couldn't gorge myself on all that potassium that fast. And Mr. Rosemary wasn't a big help in the banana eating, not when there was peanut butter fudge around.
Everyone knows what to do with ripe bananas, right? Make banana bread, of course. But I wanted to do something different and recalled this cake from the December 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It was the grand prize winner of reader recipe winners for the year.
Ever wonder why a pound cake is called a pound cake? Because, traditionally, anyhow, the cake used a pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. But, as Wikipedia taught me, as long as the 1:1:1:1 ratio is followed, it's a pound cake. I also read there that in Mexico, the cake is called a panque con nueces, a pound cake with walnuts. Maybe that's what I should have called my adaptation, because I swapped walnuts for pecans, only because I'm
This isn't an authentic pound cake. It doesn't use a whole pound of anything. But it does have that nice rich, dense texture of a pound cake. The banana flavor is subtle, not overpowering at all. Maybe it's the bourbon that does it!
Banana Nut Pound Cake
slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2012
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) -- or about 5 baby bananas!
1/4 cup bourbon, or low-fat milk -- I used bourbon!
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted -- I used toasted walnuts
Powdered sugar for topping the cake after baking -- I drizzled with a simple glaze of confectioner's sugar thinned with milk and maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Grease and flour a 10 inch fluted baking pan and set aside. Combine the first three dry ingredients and set aside.
In a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until combined. slowly add the sugar beating about 7 minutes or until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each egg. In a bowl, combine the bananas, bourbon and vanilla. Alternatively, add a little flour mixture to the cream cheese and butter, then a little banana mixture until; beat on low to medium speed, after each addition until combined. Stir in nuts by hand. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for about 80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (or glaze). Serves 12, at least!
*One of my favorite things to do with bananas is to spread a slightly warmed tortilla, a white one, with peanut butter, then lay a banana over it and roll it up for a great breakfast. Protein, fruit, carb -- all wrapped in a healthy, handy container.