Friday, 31 August 2012

Banana Cake Mini's with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Here's my banana call me maybe? I think I'm going crazy with this song stuck in my head by Carly Rae Jepsen all thanks to my sister, S. Before she ate her banana she was using the banana as a phone and sung "Call me maybe?". But then her playful acts had reminded me that I was supposed to bake a banana cake. 2 weeks ago, I bought some extra ingredients home to bake some banana cake for my family and only to find out that I was missing the main ingredient...the banana. Luckily, bananas are slowly getting back in season and my mum has been bringing home heaps of ripe bananas from the market. It's funny how I started with no bananas to having more than enough bananas at home.

I've never been much of a banana cake fan as I just prefer eating bananas the way it is. But months ago, I made a deadset decision that I must bake 'that' banana cake from my recipe book one day. Everyone in my family is quite a big banana fan, especially my little sister, Pearl. She can easily eat 5 bananas at one go ever since childhood. So I was pretty positive that Pearl and everyone else in my family will definitely go bananas over this cake.
I wanted to get a little bit creative this time and make banana cake mini's with a frosting on top. But the next hurdle for me was, what frosting should I use? The classical passionfruit icing combination with the banana cake didn’t quite cut the mark for me although many people use it. First of all, I really detest passionfruit pulp. It’s not that I dislike passionfruit flavours but I can’t stand the pulp's presence in the food I eat. I would always pick it out or just avoid eating it completely if I ever see it. Secondly, there was no passionfruit available in my pantry and I’m not going to make the effort to go to the shops to buy something that I don’t like. So then I was on the search for a frosting that would be applicable to what I already have in the kitchen and most importantly the flavour must impress me (you’ve probably realised by now that I’m quite picky with frostings). Finally, I found one that I extremely liked...white chocolate cream cheese frosting! Chocolate always satisfies me and I know I can’t go wrong with this combination. Oh! Karen you've saved my day again.
My hunch was correct! The white chocolate cream cheese frosting was a beautiful combination with the banana cake and what's so good about this frosting is that no icing sugar is required. You get an ultra smooth, silky and light texture of the frosting compared to the overbearing sugar overdose from the ones containing icing sugar. For those who don't like white chocolate, you can barely taste it. It's hidden beautifully within the tangy cream cheese with a pinch of sweetness.
I can see myself making this again in a larger batch! The batter seemed rather a little bit too small for my liking and I knew that my parents would be asking why I didn't make a bigger batch because of the chuck loads of banana and flour that we've got at home if I just presented it the way it is straight from my lamington tray. There are probably a few things that I wished I could've done differently to this banana cake but I guess I'll do all that next time! Right now I'm gonna get my hands on some cake before it's all gone tonight!

Banana Cake Mini's with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

(adapted from Women's Weekly MIX)

125g butter, softened
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup mashed banana (I used 3½ of medium ripe bananas - 460g)
½ cup (120g) sour cream
¼ cup (60ml) milk

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease and flour a lamington tray; you may line the base with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. At low speed, stir in the sifted dry ingredients, banana, sour cream and milk until completely mixed. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the batter down as well as the bottom of the mixture and mix until everything is completely incorporated.

3. Spread the mixture evenly into the lamington tray and bake for 40min. (The original recipe suggested 50min but I figured because of the low depth of the cake mixture, it'll cook much faster). Stand in cake pan for 5min then turn top-side up onto a wire rack to cool.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Citrus and Candy)

I didn't have enough white chocolate so I've re-formulated the recipe to suit myself. So if you want the original recipe, go here.

100g white chocolate (containing cocoa butter), chopped
170g cream cheese softened
25g unsalted butter
a spoonful of sour cream (approx. 2 tsps)

1. In a bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove and set aside to cool, without it going back to form the solid hard chocolate though.

2. Beat the cream cheese, butter and sour cream until smooth. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula to incorporate everything. Add in the cooled white chocolate and beat until smooth. If the mixture is too soft, allow it to become firm in the fridge for 5-10mins before piping it onto the cake.

What do you do with the remaining pieces of banana cake after when all the circles are cut out?
You chop them into smaller pieces and put them into a pretty cup. Add ice-cream to it if you like.

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