Happy Monday morning, everyone!
I have another special treat for you today …… another delicious dessert I can’t take a credit for.
….. I made this BANANA CAKE with COFFEE WALNUT BUTTERCREAM as a part of monthly baking challenge for a group of wonderful bakers I happened to be part of called The Cake Slice.
The Cake Slice is lead by my friend Paloma from The Coffee Shop. Each year we pick a book from which we will be baking ….. then every month we vote which cake we will re-crate.
This year we are baking from VINTAGE CAKES by Julie Richardson ……. January cake is BANANA CAKE with COFFEE WALNUT BUTTERCREAM.
I admit, I was intrigued by the combination of banana …. espresso ….. walnuts …… bourbon.
The BANANA CAKE is wonderful ….. soft …… moist ….. flavorful.
The Coffee Walnut Buttercream on the other hand was a let down for me …… I was not a fan of the combination of walnuts, espresso and bourbon.
Three strong flavors that are trying to overpower each other.
I wish I would use combination of pecans & bourbon …….. or espresso & chocolate ……. or walnuts & rum.
Next time I will try the BANANA CAKE with a different buttercream.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
- ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease three 13″X9″ cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. (Original recipe calls for 3 – 8″ round cake pans).
STEP 2: In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
STEP 3: In a small bowl combine mashed banana with buttermilk. Set aside.
STEP 4: Cream butter, sugar and vanilla using kitchen mixer on high speed until fluffy stopping mixer frequently to scrape the sides.
STEP 5: Beat in the eggs one at a time.
STEP 6: On low speed add the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the banana mixture in two parts. Always begin and end with flour.
STEP 7: Stop mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula.
STEP 8: Divide the cake batter equally among the prepared pans. Make sure top is even.
STEP 9: Bake until the centers spring back when lightly touched – 15-18 minutes.
STEP 10: Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Flip them out and let them continue to cool on the rack. Leave the parchment paper on until you assemble the cake.
Coffee Walnut Buttercream
- 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 5 egg whites
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt
STEP 1: Prepare Walnut-Espresso paste.
- Puree walnuts in a food processor until they begin to form a paste.
- Add corn syrup, bourbon and espresso powder and blend until combined. Set aside.
STEP 2: In a bowl whisk together egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.
STEP 3: Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. The egg mixture will be gloppy and thick, but as the mixture begins to warm it will become more fluid.
STEP 4: Continue to gently whisk the mixture until it is very hot to touch (130℉ on a candy thermometer).
STEP 5: Move the bowl to the stand mixer and using the whisk attachment whip the whites on medium-high speed until they have tripled in volume and are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks (like meringue). Turn the mixture down to medium-low speed until the mixing bowl is just cool to touch, 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP 6: Kick the mixer back up to medium-high speed and add butter one piece at a time, adding the next piece just as the previous one has been incorporated. Stop the mixer every every now and again to scrape down the sides. At some point the buttercream will appear curdled, but this is normal, so keep mixing until it all comes together again.
STEP 7: Once all of the butter has been incorporated and the frosting is fluffy and creamy add salt and Walnut-Espresso paste. Mix until fully combined.
To Assemble Cake:
STEP 1: Lay one of the cakes top side up on a cake plate. Using a metal spatula frost the top with 1/3 of the buttercream.
STEP 2: Stack the second cake top side up on top of the frosted cake and spread another 1/3 of the buttercream on top of it. Stack the last layer of cake top side up on top.
STEP 3: Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to create crumb coat. Place the cake in the fridge or freezer until the frosting is firm.
STEP 4: Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream and decorate as you wish.
Don’t forget …. Keep Smiling …. Keep Cooking!
Bibi's Culinary Journey