This dessert is a story of overcoming self-criticism. When I was brainstorming this recipe, I had in mind a light and sweet banana cake with a hint of cardamom to make it interesting. What resulted was a denser, quick bread-like "cake" with a stronger note of cardamom than I had anticipated and a darker bake than I would have liked. I was beating myself up over something that overall, looked and tasted pretty darn good. My dad clearly thought it was good too, as he would cut off large chunks of it at a time and slather them with butter. And that's when it occurred to me... why does it have to be a cake?
What's in a name? that which we call a cake By any other name would taste as sweet. ~ Shakespeare (pretty much)
This mini-revelation is what prompted me to entitle the dessert Banana Nut Bundt Bread, which is actually more cutesy and alliterative than the word cake. (If you haven't noticed, I'm a big fan of alliteration. For example, Style Study, Poldark Palooza, Movies and Music.) I decided to put a positive spin on something I thought was less than perfect. Let's leave perfection to Martha Stewart, and simply enjoy baking desserts that are good. The whole point of my Heartland Lady blog is to create a gorgeous and grounded lifestyle. That means creating beautiful things, yet having normal, realistic expectations. It's easy to lose sight of that, and something like this banana cake-turned-bread incident is a good reminder. Take it easy on yourself and as Julia Child says, "above all, have fun."
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 C. canola oil
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. mashed banana
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla (a good splash)
3/4 tsp. cardamom, ground
2 1/4 C. A-P flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
handful of walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour and large Bundt pan
Beat together the sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Beat in the mashed banana, yogurt, vanilla, and cardamom.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, salt) Add to the liquid mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Fold in the walnut pieces.
Transfer batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to get it evenly distributed. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (kabob skewers work great too!)
Let cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Tease the edges of the cake off the sides of the pan with a butter knife, to get the loosening started. Then, invert the pan onto a cake plate.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and fresh sliced bananas. :)
'Til next time,