This is actually a pretty easy cake to make. I made it for my friend Scott's birthday and thought I was being super practical by coming up with a use for over-ripe bananas, but really only ended up using one. Oh well. I have no regrets. An adaptation on the basic 1-2-3-4 cake, with coconut milk substituted for regular milk, a smashed banana added to a regular buttercream and loads of toasted almonds and shaved coconut.
- • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter - room temperature
- • 2 cups sugar
- • 3 cups cake flour
- • 4 eggs
- • 1 cup unsettled coconut milk
- • 3 teaspoons baking powder
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- BUTTERCREAM FILLING:
- • 1 stick butter
- • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- • 1 tsp vanilla extract
- • 1 smashed banana
- • 1 1/2 cups sugar
- • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
- • 1/8 teaspoon salt
- • 1/3 cup water
- • 2 egg whites
- • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- • 1 cup slivered almonds (the ones that look like cross sections, not like little stumpy matchsticks)
- • 1 c shaved unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Cream butter. Add sugar and continue to cream well. Seriously, do this for a while until the mixture gets fluffy. I cannot champion this step enough. There is no ouch thing as too fluffy! Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and coconut milk alternately to creamed mixture and mix until smooth.Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. (or do what i did and keep these in the fridge overnight till you're ready for the main frosting event.)
ASSEMBLY (frosting and filling recipes below)
Place one of the cake layers on the cake plate of your choice. top the layer with the banana buttercream. Top the banana buttercream with a think, even coating of 2/3 of the toasted almonds. Place the second layer on top. Seal the sides with the remaining buttercream. Frost the entire cake with the other, plain frosting. Using the remaining almonds, build a retaining wall of sorts along the outer edge of the top of the cake. Pile all of the toasted coconut within this "moat".
POW! You are done, son!
Fire up the mixer and beat the butter until it looks "spreadable". add the banana and vanilla. When this is all mixed together, start adding the confectioners sugar until the proper texture is achieved. Seriously, just eyeball it.
Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
GARNISH: (instructions for toasting nuts and coconut)
While the cake is baking, line a cookie sheet with 1 cup of almonds and place in the oven. Check in to shake the nuts every 5 minutes. Rotate the pan if necessary. When things are starting to look toasty-gold and smell amazing, you are done. Remove the nuts and empty into a bowl. Repeat process with coconut. Place coconut into it's own bowl when done.