I'm so happy to share one more treat with you from Joy's book. I've been ogling this cake ever since the day the book arrived but for some reason never got to it till now. This is a really fun cake, the recipe name kinda says it all.
I've loved exploring this cookbook through our 'Spotlight' series. The Joy the Baker Cookbook is a pleasure to use. The lush photos, which are all done by Joy herself, get equal billing with the printed recipes, so the whole experience of perusing the book is a sensual delight. So much so that it is really hard to decide what you want to make first. You'll need plenty of post-it flags handy for this one.
There are a bunch of things I particularly like about this book. For one, it has a limited scope; Joy subtitles it "100 Simple and Comforting Recipes" and the book lives up to that. The recipes she's chosen to include all fall into that familiar, comforting realm, and none of them are uber-fancy or complicated. You'll find lots of chocolate, peanut butter, bacon and bananas...all the comfort food stand-bys. But Joy earns her place on your kitchen shelf by infusing them with new life. This is Betty Crocker meets Joan Jett. There's Apple Crisp, Brownies, Cream Pies and Bread Puddings, alongside Avocado Fries, Coffee Bacon and Seaweed Popcorn.
Although it's a paperback, the book is thick, glossy and gorgeously tactile. After a few uses it actually stays open on the counter. It's a small point, but I like the way the ingredients are laid out horizontally across the page---it makes it easier to take them all in at a glance and refer back as you cook.
But the only thing that really counts when it comes to a cookbook is the quality of the recipes. I think our group has thoroughly vetted this book, between us we've made a good proportion of the recipes and the result has been a resounding thumbs up. This would be a nice gift to give a young person who likes to bake and is just starting out; it's got the hip factor, and yet it's a solid reference tool as well.
Joy's recipe is for a a two layer cake, but I halved it and baked it in a 9" square pan for my husband and me. There's rum in the cake and in the frosting...need I say more?
Banana Rum Cake with Brown Butter Frosting ~~~Joy the Baker Cookbook
oven to 350
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cup mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
3 Tbsp rum
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Brown Butter Frosting:
3/4 cup salted butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp rum
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add mashed bananas and rum and blend for another minute, until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.
- With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Add the buttermilk and beat on low until the mixture just begins to come together. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until the mixture is almost entirely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish blending the ingredients with a spatula. Fold in the pecans.
- Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes on alternating racks, switching the cakes halfway through baking. When a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven. Let cakes rest in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the Brown Butter Frosting: in a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter until browned in color and nutty in fragrance. Pour browned butter into a small bowl to cool. The browned bits will add color and character to the frosting.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add powdered sugar, turn mixer on low, and add brown butter in a stream. Increase speed to medium and add vanilla and rum. Beat for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add cream. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add a touch of cream. If the mixture is too thin, add a touch more powdered sugar. Spread between the layers and on top and sides of cake.
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