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Mom's Banana Layers

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Sunday, 09 September 2012
List of viewable recipes from "Piece of Cake" by David Muniz, David Lesniak

Recipe from Piece of Cake by David Muniz, David Lesniak (Rizzoli, 2012)

ImageOne of the things we both learned from watching our mothers bake is just how versatile and resourceful they were. If they didn’t have any or enough of a particular ingredient, they made do in any number of ways: they simply did without, they made up the difference with another ingredient, or they made a flat-out substitution. We see the exact opposite with the folks who work with us who are all schooled and trained in baking. Apparently baking curricula don’t include anything about pragmatism. Who knew? This recipe was made by Momma Lesniak all the time. She would always finish it with an Orange Buttercream (page 191) for a weekday dessert, but it lends itself to any number of other options as well. Speaking of options, the sour cream can easily be replaced with yogurt, mascarpone, crème fraîche, coconut milk, buttermilk, and even good old whole milk. The texture and taste will vary slightly, depending on your choice, but you will still end up with a perfectly delicious cake. Sour cream lends a tang to sweet bananas, but if you prefer a smoother taste, ditch it and try something else.

Serves 12 to 16.

  • 21 oz / 600 g / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 oz / 225 g / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 20 oz / 550 g / 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 oz / 115 g / ½ cup sour cream
  • 16 oz / 450 g / about 2 cups mashed banana (about 4)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Scrape the bowl as you go. On low speed, add the vanilla followed by the sour cream, mixing until just combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and bananas in 3 to 4 parts, mixing only until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth with a small offset spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It’s best to rotate the pans front to back, top to bottom about ½ of the way through to ensure even baking. Let the layers cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before releasing them. Let them cool completely on wire racks.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 September 2012 )
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