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Banana Cake

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

For the smoothest frosting, use extra-smooth ricotta cheese.

For the most intense walnut flavor, use walnut oil in the cake and toast the walnuts for garnishing the cake.

If a recipe contains both oil and a sticky ingredient such as honey or molasses, measure the oil first. The small amount of oil left in the cup or spoon will help the honey slide out smoothly.

Barb's Nutrition: The fat found in nuts and seeds is primarily the desirable monounsaturated type. Like other fats, however, it also contributes calories. To get the most out of nuts when using them in baking, finely chop them to distribute their flavor and texture throughout the dough or batter.

Nuts and seeds are even more flavorful when they are lightly toasted before they are combined with other ingredients. Spread them evenly in a pie plate or cake pan and toast in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. The timing varies depending on the type of nuts or seeds, so watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn.

Makes25 slices (1 slice per serving)

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Mealbrunch, dinner, tea

Moodblue

Taste and Texturecreamy, fruity, nutty, sweet

Type of Dishcake

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups (425 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) baking soda
  • ½ cup (125 mL) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (125 mL) liquid honey
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) walnut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup (250 mL)  5% ricotta cheese
  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) cornstarch or arrowroot
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped walnuts
  • Lemon zest, cut into thin strips
  • 13- by 9-inch (3.5 L) cake pan, sprayed with baking
  • spray

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Cake: In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. In a food processor or blender, purée buttermilk, honey, oil and bananas until smooth; stir into flour mixture just until mixed. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Frosting: In a food processor, purée ricotta, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until steaming hot. Remove from heat. Chill.

Spread cold frosting over cooled cake. Sprinkle with walnuts and strips of lemon zest.

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