I belong to a group called Ina’s Garden . We ‘meet’ on the first and third Thursdays of every month to share our experiences Ina Garten’s wonderful recipes. We would love for you to join us.
This time we are cooking around the theme Sweet Baked Love. The Ina Garten recipe you share can be anything baked, from cookies, to a cake or pie. Even pizza is baked, so you could include things like that too. As for me, I chose Ina’s Old Fashioned Banana Cake from her new book Barefoot Contessa – How Easy Is That.
I first made this recipe a few weeks ago when I needed to use up some over-ripe bananas. I’m so glad I did, as I have made it twice since! Moist and delicious, this is the perfect cake to serve in the afternoon with a cup of tea. You could even have it for breakfast, lunch or brunch! It’s super quick and easy to put together, and I get loads of compliments every time I make it.
I prefer to blog about Ina recipes I can link to, but I made this one without thinking, and now I am dismayed to find that it is online at The Barefoot Contessa or Food Network. Much against my better judgement I’m going to include the recipe below. I can only hope Ina would forgive me if I add a hearty and heartfelt endorsement of this new book How Easy Is That, and urge you to purchase it for your cookbook collection. It is one of the most used and most useful cookbooks I have purchased this year, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Old Fashioned Banana Cake
source: Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup very light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I used large eggs)
½ cup sour cream (I used crème fraîche)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Walnut halves, for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan. (This cake rises a lot, so make sure it is also fairly deep.)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. WIth the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Sir in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a rack and cool completely.
For the frosting, mix 6 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don’t whip! Add 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.
The next time we meet, on Thursday August 4th, the theme is Appetizing Appetizers as chosen by Mia of Bright Morning Star. The recipe she chose was Rosemary Roasted Cashews, but any of Ina’s wonderful recipes for appetizers would be very, very welcome. You can use Ina’s cookbooks, or check out The Barefoot Contessa or Food Network online.
Thank you from your hostesses,
April of The 21st Century Housewife and