Sunday, October 2, 2016

Banana Rum Coffee Cake

Bananas have shown up in many of the recipes posted on this blog, so I guess it can be called one of my favorite ingredients when it comes to baking. One of the reasons is that it has a strong flavor. Sometimes when you bake, the end result my be a lost flavor. No so with the banana.

This particular recipe yields a moist and fluffy cake with a pecan/praline topping. When I read this recipe, the ingredients and preparation of the batter intrigued me. It is a blend of cream cheese and butter with a cooked banana sauce folded in. The topping is a cream sauce made with rum, but I actually dusted this piece with powdered sugar. I am saving the cream sauce for serving.  Warming up the sauce and ladling it over the cake right before serving adds that special rum flavor which puts this coffeecake in a delicious class of its own.

When making this recipe, please pay close attention to the instructions for measured ingredients. There are items in the ingredient list which are divided up to make different components of the recipe.

Banana Rum Coffee Cake
adapted from Southern Living Dec 2014

2 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups butter (room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp gnd cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cup flour plus 3 tbs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
7 tbs light rum

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x13 inch cake pan by greasing and dusting the interior with flour. Set pan aside. The recipe ingredients require 4 blends or components, so be prepared with 4 bowls.

The first component starts by filling a saucepan with 1/2 cup brown sugar, mashed bananas, 3 tbs rum and 1/4 cup of butter. Place saucepan over medium heat and stir, letting sugar and butter melt. Once melted, let heat up until mixture starts to bubble or boil in pan. Remove and let cool until it reaches room temperature and then add 1 tsp of vanilla.

The second bowl will be for the dry ingredients. Sift together salt, baking soda, baking powder and just 3 cups of the flour into this bowl.

The next bowl will be the bowl from a stand mixer. Fill bowl with 1/2 cup of butter and cream cheese. Beat the two together until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl when needed. Then incorporate 1 cup of the brown sugar, by beating for about 1 minute until batter is light and fluffy. Add one egg and blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other egg.

Fold sifted ingredients into the cream cheese mixture until no dry streaks remain. Lastly, stir in the banana mixture, distributing throughout the batter. Empty batter into prepared pan and smooth, making sure mixture is even in pan.

For the pecan praline topping, start by whisking together the pecans, cinnamon, 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup of melted butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of the cake batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. When done, remove pan from oven and place on rack to cool.

Once cooled off for 20 minutes, you can dust with powdered sugar. If you choose the cream sauce, it can be made as soon as cake comes out of oven.

For the cream sauce, start by filling a saucepan with the granulated sugar and flour. Whisk together. Then place pan over medium heat and add cream and 1/2 cup of butter. Let the mixture cook, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until it comes to a boil. As it boils, the mixture will thicken. It will take approximately 2 minutes to reach the correct consistency. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of rum and 1 tsp vanilla.

To prepare in advance, the sauce can be made and chilled the day before. The cake also can be made the day before. To serve, drizzle heated sauce over each serving of cake.

Tips and Notes:
1. In order to avoid a dry cake, I pureed the bananas and I sifted the flour prior to measuring.

2. Ripe vs over-ripe: I used ripe bananas, so I am unable to rate how the recipe does with leftover dark or over-ripe bananas.
3. The cake is just as delicious cooled right out of the oven, without additional toppings.
4. If you are a fan of having rum in the topping, use more cream instead.
                                   **LAST YEAR:Gingerbread Latte Fudge*