Banana Cake with Cream Cheese

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Whoever has heard of a banana cake with cream cheese frosting? This cake is surprisingly very popular in many countries. I was not very sure myself if the cream cheese frosting would really go well with a banana cake. So, I tried it out and even added some variations of my own. Despite the simple recipe, the cake was just perfect! Many people who tasted the cake simply fell in love with it, which is why I would like to share this with everyone.


Size: 8-inches


Ingredients:

Banana Cake
300g banana, roughly mashed
250g plain flour
200g unsalted butter
200g soft light brown sugar
150g eggs, beaten (Vegans can use egg replacement powder)
5g vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Filling and Topping
150g icing sugar
100g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
25g full cream milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Decoration
Walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted


Preparation time: ±20 minutes
Cooking time: ±60 minutes



Method:
**Pre-heat the oven to 170°C

To make the cake batter
1) Cut the unsalted butter into smaller pieces. In the mixing bowl, cream the unsalted butter and soft light brown sugar together to achieve a light and fluffy texture. If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If you are using a hand mixer, use the beaters. Start the creaming process with low speed and end with high speed.
2) Mix the vanilla extract into the beaten eggs. With 3 to 4 inclusions, add the egg mixture into the butter mixture while mixing continuously with medium speed. Make sure the previous inclusion is well combined before adding the next ones. Scrap all the content in the mixing bowl to the middle and mix again to a smooth texture. (For vegans who use the egg replacement powder, please refer to the pack for measurement)
3) Sieve the plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Add all these dry ingredients into the mixture. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground cinnamon into the mixture as well. Start the mixing on low speed and end with medium speed. The mixture should become a smooth batter.
4) Cut the bananas into smaller pieces and roughly mash them. You can also do it with a spoon and not mash them thoroughly so that some chunks of bananas are left. Add all the mashed banana into the batter and mix well.
5) Grease the baking pan with butter and dust with plain flour to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan after it is baked. Pour the batter into the pan. Bang the baking pan on the table to get rid of the air trapped in between the batter and the pan.



To bake the cake:
1) Bake the cake at 170°C for 60 minutes. To test if the cake is ready, insert a small knife into the center of the cake. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is ready.
2) Then cool it down on the cooling rack. Let the cake sit in the baking pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cake board to continue the cooling process.

Notes: While baking the cake, clean up the table and proceed with toasting the chopped walnuts, and the making of the cream cheese filling and topping.



To make the cream cheese filling and topping:
1) Cut the cream cheese and unsalted butter into smaller pieces. In the mixing bowl, cream them together to achieve a smooth texture. Use the paddle attachment for a stand mixer or beaters for a hand mixer. As before, start from low speed and end with high speed.
2) Add the full cream milk and vanilla extract into the mixture and mix them well until it is smooth in texture. Bear in mind that the mixture will be slightly more liquid than before.
3) Sieve the icing sugar and add it into the mixture. Again, mix them thoroughly to attain a smooth texture.
4) Keep the cream cheese filling and topping in fridge and ready to use.


To toast the chopped walnuts:
1) Roughly chop the walnuts into small pieces, as illustrated in the picture.
2) Toast the chopped walnuts in the oven for about 7 minutes at 170°C or until they are golden brown in colour and crispy when they are cooled.
3) After being cooled under the fan, they are ready to be used. If you are toasting the walnuts much earlier in advance, it is advisable to keep them in an airtight container to prevent them from becoming soft.


To apply the cream cheese filling and topping and decorations:
1) Once the cake is cooled, cut the cake horizontally into half using a cake knife, leaving the lower half layer on the cake board.
2) Scoop a sufficient amount of filling on the lower half layer of the cake and spread it across the surface leaving about 1cm to the edge uncovered. This is to avoid the filling from coming out when the upper half layer is sandwiched on.
3) Now, put on the upper half layer of the cake on the lower layer with the filling.
4) Scoop another sufficient amount of topping on the cake and spread across the surface, as illustrated in the picture.
5) Then, randomly sprinkle the toasted chopped walnuts on the topping.
6) The cake is now ready.

Note: The decoration as shown in the picture above is only a guide. You can decorate the cake according to your own creativity.



To serve the cake:
1) This cake is best served as soon as it is ready as its texture is still moist, soft and fluffy.
2) However, you can also choose to first keep the cake in the fridge to freeze the frosting before tasting it. Cakes kept in the fridge will generally have a harder texture, which some people prefer.

3) Some people tend to enjoy this cake when served with a cup of coffee.

I personally love to eat this as soon as it is freshly baked. If I do however, store the cake in the fridge, I will make sure that I leave it to thaw in room temperature for one hour before consuming it.

Happy baking!



You can also try out:
Rustic Pumpkin Cake
Lemongrass and Pandan Cupcakes
South Indian Homemade Dessert: Rava Kesari



Author: Tey Chee Seng

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (JULY 2012)

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