Thursday, February 9, 2012

Banana Rum Cake: On my obstinate nature

Due to the massive highly-localized energy crisis in my own home, we are wearing crispier clothes these days now that I have stopped using the dryer.  Don't get me wrong - all the sheets and large items like towels still get dryer treatment, but all of our clothes are being line dried.  Each day I do a load of laundry and hang it to dry in the driest room of our house - the guest bathroom.  And every afternoon, I begin folding a stack of semi-crispy clothes.  The kids don't mind, and I have to say that I mind a little, but I was trained for this with 7 years of living abroad in both Korean and Hong Kong, where in both places we did not have a dryer.  (We also did not have three kids, so that could explain why there are so MANY clothes now.)    I actually thought of taking a picture to prove to you that I am actually doing this, but you can probably hear the crunch of my clothing even from behind your computer screen.  Crunch crunch.

Husband in the midst of all of this has told me, asked me, begged me to PLEASE just use the dryer.  But I'm stubborn.  And I WANT my energy credit.  I will go to great lengths to get it, and if it means line drying the clothes, well gosh darn it, I'm going to do it.  He regularly shakes his head in disbelief at my stubbornness, and looks heavenward for a break from my mulish tendencies, but there is no respite.  I'm going to pursue this energy credit until the end of March.

Only - BAKING gets in the way.  Baking - the act of turning on the oven, causes MASSIVE energy usage spikes in ways that I shudder to think about.  An oven on for an hour?  Kills my daily lowering average.  But as the bananas were browning,this idea was just jumping up at me from behind my brain.  "Choose me!  Make me!  Pick me!" and then the energy hungry oven would loom into view, and I would choose something far less energy hungry to make,  like rice krispy pops.  (Now you know why I went on a bit of a binge making those!)  But today was the day that FINALLY I picked this idea, formerly pushed to the back of my mind; I gulped and turned on the oven.  It was a painful 65 minutes with the oven on and I counted the therms that I was burning through.

But let me just say -it was WORTH IT.  Even the smell as it filled my house, drove the kids crazy.  They asked what I was making, what smelled so good, why did it smell so good and went on and on about the SMELL.  And friend SH was over, and immediately said, "It smells so good!"  Once the rum sauce went on , I couldn't slice into that thing fast enough.

And the result was just so good.  As I ate, I thought of new ways of saving more energy in order to enjoy this cake again.  (Current attempt - typing and blogging in the dark.  Thankfully typing lessons in the 6th grade means that this is easy.)

If you're in the midst of your own personal energy crisis at home, don't let this recipe scare you.  Just tighten your belt, prepare for some crunchy clothes, and just ENJOY IT.
Banana Rum Cake
Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1⅓ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
4 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 ⅓ cups mashed)
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup of dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Rum Syrup Glaze
1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup of butter)
¼ cup of water
½ cup of rum (you can use ¾ cup of rum if you really like the flavor)

Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix together rum, buttermilk,and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in bananas until incorporated. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk rum mixture. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of buttermilk rum, a bit of flour, a bit of buttermilk rum, a bit of flour.)

Scoop batter into pan and smooth out. Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

After the cake has been baking about 40 minutes, begin to make rum syrup glaze. In a heavy saucepan, heat together butter, sugar, water and empty vanilla bean pod over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour in rum. Return to heat and cook for an additional minute.

Once cake is done baking, place cake on a rack over a cookie sheet and immediately drizzle about ⅓ of rum glaze over the cake while it is still in the pan. Drizzle all over and begin saturating the cake. Allow cake to rest for 5 minutes after drizzling. Then invert cake on rack and with a fork, begin poking holes all over the entire surface of the cake. The more holes you poke, the better the absorption of the rum syrup. Drizzle the remaining syrup over the cake allowing it to saturate fully. Cool to room temperature to allow for maximum soaking of the syrup.

Printable recipe

the bundt pan I love


amy@currylime said...

Bananas, vanilla, and rum... oh, my!

The Hungry Mum said...

This looks AMAZING. I love bundt tins so any excuse to use mine is always appreciated.

Reagan King said...

I found your recipe on pinterest and i just made it! I just finished a warm slice with a cold glass of milk and it is AMAZING!! I had a lot of bananas going bad and searched for a banana dessert and this was perfect!! I might even make this for company sometime! Thank you!!

Karla said...

Yum! Mine is in the oven right now. The hubby and kids can hardly stand it! Smells delicious...
thank you!

Anonymous said...

Just noticed that the instructions for the glaze includes a vanilla bean pod but I didn't see that in the list of ingredients.


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