Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If You Have Bananas and Sour Cream...

I love this recipe. I have made banana breads and banana cakes, but by far, I love this recipe the most. I love Rose Beranbaum's cake recipes. Period. This is by far the most tender and yummiest banana cake I have ever tasted. I attribute it all to the sour cream and mixing technique. One thing I love about Rose's cake recipes is that she incorporates her knowledge in food science into her cookbooks. I am a lover of recipe elaborations, explanations, tips and the like. This may have been due to my lack of knowledge in cooking and baking in the first place when I first became a wife, such that when I tried recipes of Malaysian food, many turned out into chicken feed. For years I gave up trying and focused on baking and western cookbooks instead, as they are more like chemistry, and should I say, more organized (well most are at least). And after gaining some food chemistry know how, I returned to my attempts at Malaysian food, and lo and behold, alhamdulillah, at least some of them were fit for consumption.

Anyway, like I said, this is by far my favorite banana cake recipe. The sour cream produces a very tender cake, and the lemon zest lends a delightful fragrance and wonderful tang, in addition to the sour cream. If you don't like your banana cake to look brown though, put off blending the bananas until you're ready with the dry ingredients, so they don't have time to oxidize (did I tell you I love food facts?), and you will get a light colored banana cake, with Allah's permission. It is also from this recipe that I concocted an allergy free version for Zeyoudee, which can be found here.

Taken from Rose Beranbaum's Cake Bible,

Cordon Rose Banana Cake

2 large ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
2 Tbs sour cream (for extra moistness you can use up to 1/2 cup)
2 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C sifted cake flour
3/4 C + 2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 Tbs unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and line pans. You can use an 8x8, or one 9 inch by 2 round pan or even a 9 inch springform pan.
2. In a food processor, or blender, blend the bananas and sour cream until smooth. Then add eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla and blend briefly, just to blend.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt) and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend
4. Add the softened butter and half of the banana mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes
6. Add the rest of the banana mixture in two batches, and make sure to scrape down the sides between each addition. The batter will develop beautifully as you continue beating (the beauty is in the technique Rose has developed)
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan/s and smooth the surface. I always create a slight dip in the middle of the batter and bring them to the sides so that when the cake naturally domes, it will be somewhat level and not too domed in the middle.
8. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or till cake springs back when lightly pressed.
9. Cool cake in pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, and then invert cake out of pan and cool completely.

Or you can also immediately dig in while it's still hot, and emanating a wafting aroma of banana and lemon. At least that's what my son did, despite me telling him to leave some for his father. I had sliced the square cake into strips and let them eat half of the cake and they devoured it uninhibitedly of course. I left, and when I returned, the other half was literally butchered, the culprit having moved away from the crime scene as far as he could. At the end of the day, there were two pieces left in the pan which went in the fridge. When I saw it, I told hubby and believe it or not, when he went for those pieces later on, he found the pan empty (but still in the fridge).

"Good joke, good joke!" he said.

Alas, he didn't get a taste of that cake. The kids beat him to it. He took revenge (not sure for that particular incident or an accumulated ice cream incidents in whci the kids would eat almost the whole tub and leave a measly bit for their parents) by eating more than half of the tub of ice cream. When the kids took the tub out to get some, they exclaimed,

"Hey! Who ate so much?"

Of course, they accused each other, and when it turned out that none of them did it, and hey, I didn't do it, the only person left to accuse was their father. Ahh...revenge is truly sweet when it involves ice cream. I guess.


  1. Juli dear, Ive just passed on teh Kreativ Blogger award to u. PLs chk my blog for it k! MMMM nice banana cake.:)

  2. looks yummy! I have heard of using sour cream with bananas for baking before, although it does seem like an odd combination it is very tasty

  3. Kakjuli, I think this was the one S served me and Ty while ago. We loved your banana cake especially Ty, unfortunately.. only 3-4 pieces left so we didn't eat much! JazzakiAllah Khair Kakjuli for the recipe.. can't wait to try this , really!!

    Question, Is that possible to replace plain yogurt instead of sour cream?