Remember the deceivingly black, spotty bananas I mentioned before that turned out to be still firm and unripe? These pisang tanduk swindlers have finally ripened! Well actually, not really, but the bowls of ingredients were taking up too much space in the small fridge.
So this time I used this recipe from David Lebovitz’ Banana Loaf Cake (who adapted it from Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim) after my previous experiment with Roast Banana-Pumpkin Breakfast Bread (don’t ask). In case you’re wondering, no, we don’t know the difference between banana bread and banana cake. We guessed perhaps it’s just the baker’s (or your) gimmick to make you think you’re eating a healthier option, but don’t kid yourself.
That said, this is a slightly healthier, less buttery version of the banana bread we usually know, using very few butter. I cut down the amount of sugar to a half, and doubled the cinnamon and other spice. The bananas like I said, weren’t ripe enough for my taste (despite the all-black look), so I toasted them in the oven first. And since they were smaller than those French bananas (neither pun nor insult intended), I used 6 pisang tanduks*. Another healthy plus points: only egg whites. Which, once again, bring me back to square one: find more recipe with exactly three egg yolks.
Banana Loaf Cake
One 9-inch cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz’ Banana Loaf Cake, who adapted it from Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim
2 1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used palm sugar readily available in Indonesia)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 or 5 large very ripe banana-mash, then measure) (I used 6)
One 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, sprayed with vegetable cooking spray coated with fine, dry breadcrumbs or a dusting of flour
I used one 22 x 10 x 7-cm loaf pan, buttered and lightly dusted with flour.
1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 175 degree celcius.
2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. Place the bananas on a tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes to slightly caramelize it.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to break them up, then whisk in the sugar and the brown sugar. Whisk in the butter and vanilla, followed by the mashed bananas. Add a shot of espresso, just because.
4. Sift the flour mixture over the banana mixture and thoroughly fold it in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake the cake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. (I actually needed a longer time. But I might need to recalibrate my old oven.)
6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold it and cool completely on a rack.
Storage: Keep the cake wrapped in plastic at room temperature after it has cooled. For longer storage, double wrap and freeze for up to a month.
*In case you’re wondering about pisang tanduk, it’s a tasty variety commonly found in Indonesia, used to make many traditional Indonesian snacks such as pisang goreng (banana fritters), nagasari (steamed banana rice cake wrapped in banana leaves), kolak pisang (banana? compote with coconut milk and palm sugar). Here’s a picture taken in the Pasar Pakis market–see the heavily spotted one on the right?
I’d show you the picture of my so-called not ripe enough bananas, but I’m afraid the all-black look will be an unforgivable violation of foodblogging standard. Not that we chimps mind. By the way, ”Tanduk” means horn, referring to its shape.