Friday, June 8, 2012

Banana Chiffon Cake

If you're anything like me, you buy bunches of bananas only to see them all ripen at the same second, so you miss your perfect banana-eating window of opportunity, whatever it is. For me, that window is tiny and complicated by the fact that I only like bananas on cereal or in a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I never eat them on their own. Oh, and I rarely have bread or cereal in the house. So why do I keep buying bananas, you may wonder? To bake with, of course. I think we can all get tired of banana bread, though, no matter how tasty it is. This chiffon cake has all the flavour of banana bread, but is light and airy. It's not as light as a plain sponge cake, but it absolutely melts in your mouth. And it's pretty easy, for something so huge and impressive looking, if I do say so myself.

I made one at Christmas which I frosted with a thin layer of bittersweet ganache, but cream cheese frosting is my favourite here. Use your standard recipe, but lighten it up by beating in milk until it has a consistency more like whipped cream than dense frosting. I'd give you more precise instructions, but I made this months ago. In February, actually. That's my excuse for the rather grim light in the photos. I do have the cake recipe for you, at least!

Banana Chiffon Cake
Source: My mother's kitchen Bible 1960s Purity Flour cookbook

2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
5 egg yolks
1 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup egg whites, at room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Your favourite cream cheese frosting, lightened with milk to a soft consistency (or chocolate ganache)
Pistachios to garnish

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Make a well in dry ingredients and add oil, egg yolks, banana, lemon zest, nutmeg, water and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Gradually fold the batter into the egg whites. Turn into an ungreased tube pan and use a knife to cut through any large air bubbles. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, until a tester comes out clean. Invert to cool completely. 
  4. Run a thin knife around the pan edge and tube to loosen the cake. Invert onto a serving platter and frost generously. Garnish with pistachios if desired.
Oh, and guess what? I bought a bunch of bananas the other day...


Valerie Gamine said...

Banana's only have a small window of opportunity to actually be eaten "as is." But I could easily age a few for a recipe like this! Yummm

Gloria Baker said...

Mary this cake look amazing!

Anonymous said...

wow! what a gorgeous cake! i could definitely go for a slice of that right now! thanks for sharing! glad i found your blog!

Mr. P said...

Oh wow. Oh my gosh. I am literally busting to make this. I freaking love chiffon.

I need to know the size of the tube pan. 10inch? Mine is the Wilton one. It's 10.

I seriously may make this tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I am exactly like you as far as bananas go! Although I do eat them as is for potassium and a quick breakfast, but for the most part - cereal and peanut butter!! This is a stunner of a cake! I love a good chiffon cake, but have never seen nor tried a banana chiffon! I'm so excited to try it..somewhere down the line, since I had my fill of bananas with the banana pudding cheesecake, for almost a month! lol

Valérie said...

Yeah, I have the same problem with bananas, even though I have no problem eating them by themselves - but I seem to be the only one around here that does, so they do tend to go bad. This is a beautiful-looking cake, the crumb looks spectacular!