Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Where have you been?


And I worked at my first real job.

And I learned that people in positions of power are frequently very incompetent.

And I got oriented at the University of Texas, where I'll be going in the fall.

unfrosted cake
And I discovered The Noisettes' Wild Young Hearts Album. And I'm TOTALLY in love with it.

And what else?

I've started running.
frosted cake

And I reread Anne of Green Gables for the 18th time or something.

I discovered frozen yogurt. WIN.

Basically, I've been trying to squeeze all the luscious deliciousness out of summer. Which is a very good thing.

And I baked you a cake.

It was a Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting. And strawberries on top.

Do you love me yet?

I love you.

messy slice

Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

I love chocolate and bananas with all of my soul. Not kidding. This is so good and so rich and exactly what you didn't know you needed. It screams for a glass of milk or, if you're feeling exceedingly decadent, a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Also, it frosted beautifully. Seriously, the most perfect looking cake ever. I was so proud I decorated with strawberries.

For the Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (see note)
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 or 4 bananas)

Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to combine well.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar, and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat well for 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until you have a smooth batter.
Using a large spoon or spatula, stir in half the flour just until it disappears into the batter. Stir in the buttermilk, and then the remaining flour, the same way. Quickly and gently fold in the mashed bananas, and then divide the batter between the 2 cake pans.
Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the center, and begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels. Then turn out onto wire racks or plates to cool completely, top side up. Frost cake.

Note: If you don't have buttermilk, stir 1 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice into 1/2 cup milk, and let stand 1o minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Note: This makes ALOT of frosting. It is also rich and very intensely chocolatey, and almost overwhelms the delicate banana flavor of the cake. Regardless, it's a really, really good frosting. I promise.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Greek Salad

You begin with cucumbers.

Add tomatoes.

Then olives and feta.

Then some dressing and your favorite herbs and then toss things like life depends on it.

And then sit down and eat it with some bread and grilled chicken and thank god that it's summer.

Greek Salad
from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced or basil, if you're so inclined
10 small heirloom tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 European or hothouse cucumber (1 pound), halved lengthwise and cut into half moons or whatever
8 ounces Greek feta cheese, cubed (about 2 cups)

In a large, shallow bowl, combine the lemon juice and sea salt and whisk to blend. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the oregano, and whisk to blend. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and olives, and toss to blend. Scatter with the feta and remaining oregano or basil. Eat.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pre-Juneteenth Pie Social with Peace Through Pie

Hello lovelies,
I want to let you know about an incredible event that is happening this weekend, Peace Through Pie, my most favorite organization/peace movement ever is hosting Pre-Juneteenth Pie Social and Fundraiser. There will be sweet and savory pies from a variety of Austin restaurants, a pie auction, games, pie stories, a pie proclamation and of course, peace.

Please come. These events are so delicious and wonderful and there is so much love.

To recap:

WHAT: A Pre-Juneteeth Pie Celebration. There will be sweet and savory pies from Austin restaurants, art exhibition, pie auction, pie proclamation, and lots of Peace and Love
WHERE: The Limerick-Frazier House, 810 E. 13th Street, Austin TX
WHEN: 4-6 p.m.

I'll be contributing some pie, come by and have a slice!

For more information check out the Peace Through Pie website: