Book Review by Norene Gilletz
On Shavuot, we eat dairy foods such as blintzes, kugels and cheesecake. I didn’t have to search very far to find a delicious cake for your Shavuot table! It’s also perfect for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or bridal and baby showers. This recipe has been adapted from the award-winning 700 page cookbook In the Sweet Kitchen – The Definitive Guide to the Baker’s Pantry by Toronto pastry chef Regan Daley.
Daley provides excellent information and tips on baking, ingredients and substitutions. There are 140 scrumptious recipes and color photos, including Caramel Apple and Sweet Cream Cheesecake, and Black Chocolate Espresso Cake with Bittersweet Glaze! Enjoy this moist banana cake with its sweet, extra-creamy icing!
BANANA-STRAWBERRY LAYER CAKE
Ingredients should be at room temperature.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 3 large)
2 cups cake-and-pastry flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
Cream Cheese Icing
1 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
500 gram package (about 4 to 4 1/3 cups) icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 quart fresh ripe strawberries
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 2 – 9″ round cake pans. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. (Don’t worry if batter separates.) Add vanilla and bananas; blend well.
Sift together dry ingredients. Add half to banana mixture; blend briefly. Scrape down bowl and beat in sour cream. Add remaining flour mixture, stirring just until mixed. Pour batter into pans.
Bake on center rack of oven at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Sift in icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes (or up to 2 days).
Spread one layer with a generous amount of icing. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Reserve 10 to 12 berries for garnishing. Hull remaining berries; cut in thirds lengthwise and arrange over frosted layer. Cover with unfrosted layer. Press down gently so it will adhere. Spread top and sides with remaining icing. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Garnish with reserved berries up to 6 hours before serving.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to the Baker’s Pantry