Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

The Mission:
Use up the leftover buttermilk. So I searched through a few cookbooks and websites and found a Banana Cake recipe that sounded fantastic. I love a good fruit based cake.

The Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
The Instructions:
Preheat oven to 275*F. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan (or use non-stick). In a small bowl, mix the mashed banana with the lemon juice and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, then stir in the banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. (This will keep the cake very moist and make it easier to frost.) Frost the cake with the cream cheese icing and garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Icing Instructions:
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth then beat in the vanilla. Add the confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.

The Result:
It smelled soooo good. It looked very pretty as well. If I make it again, I will halve the cream cheese icing recipe, since I didn't use it all. I only iced 3/4 of the cake, since my husband doesn't like cream cheese icing. I just found out that I don't like it either, so I'll only be icing 1/3 of it next time!

The Reviews:
I thought it tasted fantastic. Mark really liked it, as did my favorite co-worker. My husband's not a big fan of bananas (now he tells me!) so he wasn't overly thrilled with it. I think he's crazy - haha. I left some for my parents to eat and they both loved it. And to get rid of the extra icing, I sent Mark home with the tub of it. I'm sure he's already polished it off with a spoon :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Raspberry Baked Brie

The Misson:
Make Raspberry Baked Brie as found in one of my older cookbooks. I never made it at Easter, so I already had all of the ingredients. It looked tasty and seemed elegant, so I figured it would be perfect for my sister's Bridal Shower.
The Ingredients:
  • 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 round (8 oz) Brie cheese
  • 1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • assorted crackers or slices of French Baguette
The Instructions:
Unroll the crescent rolls and separate into two 6" squares. Place one square on a cookie sheet and press on the seams to seal. Place the round of brie in the center of the square and top with the jam and the fresh raspberries. On each corner of the remaining square of dough, use a small cookie cutter to cut out a shape and set aside the shape. Take the dough square and place it ontop of the brie round, folding the corners of the dough under. Fold the bottom layer of dough up around the top layer and pinch to seal. Brush with the beaten egg. Place the cut out shapes on the top and brush them with the egg. Bake the brie in a 350*F oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and place on serving plate. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with water crackers or sliced french baguette.

The Result:
The brie turned out a bit browner on top than I would've liked. I also think that my cookie cutter was too big. If I use this in the future, I'll go buy a teeny tiny cookie cutter (perhaps in the shape of a flower or a heart). I honestly wasn't really thrilled with baking the brie in the crescent roll dough. I'm going to add a "brie bowl" to my Christmas list this year, so I can just bake it with the rasperries by itself and skip the bread part.

The Reviews:
Everyone said that it tasted good and that it looked very pretty. So it wasn't a complete failure, but only half of the brie was eaten. I left it with Mom to finish off.