Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Has Sprung...or Popped?

A cake pop and a gin and tonic totally counts as dinner right? It may be a Tuesday night, but with a new job comes a new schedule and mid-week has become my weekend. It may have been apparent that I haven't updated here in a while and I have a good reason for that.

A whirlwind of a month and an amazing job offer that materialized out of thin air meant little time for sleep, free time, or even time to catch my sanity. Life is starting to settle into its new groove, but unfortunately my body and mind are lagging a bit behind. So on my Friday, all I want to do is curl up on the couch have a strong cocktail and enjoy a sugar bomb that is the cake pop.

When Easter rolled around this year, I found that I actually needed to think about where to go and what to make. The last two years, I have been out of the country, most likely underwater doing some scuba diving or laying on a beach on a tropical island. Sigh...not this year, I guess that's the price I pay for working in a restaurant kitchen. Instead, I was able to spend a lovely afternoon with my boyfriend's family and found an excuse to make some cute easter-y desserts.

I think I have found my new favorite cake pop flavor, and from the sounds of pure satisfaction coming from all who ate them, I think most are in agreement; banana cake pops are a winner. The banana lends a nice rich flavor without being overly sweet, the candy coating takes care of that. Combined with a buttery and once again, not overly sweet, italian meringue buttercream, the banana cake pops will definitely be making more appearances on my cake pop flavor roll.

Banana Cake
recipe adapted from the Food Librarian
(makes enough for about 40 cake pops)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz., room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment and lightly coat with non-stick spray.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg. Scrape the bowl down very well after each addition.

On low speed, mix in the mashed bananas. Add half the dry ingredients, and mix just until incorporated, then add the sour cream, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients, again scraping the bowl in between each addition.

Pour into your prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or a finger pressed gently on the top of the cake springs back fully.

Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Italian Meringue Buttercream

4 oz egg whites
8 oz granulated sugar
2 oz water
12 oz unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1 tsp vanilla

Place your egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 

Heat the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over high heat. Using a candy thermometer, bring the sugar to a boil and continue cooking until it reaches 230 degrees F. When it hits that temperature, turn your stand mixer to medium to begin mixing the egg whites until they are foamy. When the temperature hits 240 F, remove from heat and slowly pour into the egg whites on a medium low speed. As soon as all of the sugar is in, turn the mixer to medium high and mix until the meringue is cool to touch. Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time and whip until thick, which may take a few minutes. 

To make the cake pops, see this post for detailed instructions! Happy Spring!! 


Carrie said...

Congrats on the new job! Please post about it - I'd love to know what you're up to in your new Pastry Chef role! Your Easter cake pops look VERY pretty... banana IS an awesome flavor. I haven't done with Italian meringue, just cream cheese frosting. Yum. :) And a chocolate coating is pretty tasty too... :) Good luck with the new schedule!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what where you doing, due to the lack of posts...i´m glad that it as been for a good reason...congratulations on the new job!!!
Once evetything is setled...hope you can post again...
Beautiful cake pops.....Love the colors...
Cristina (Portugal-Aveiro)

Anonymous said...

Did i see that name correctly? My name is Bria as well. My email is kero_bearus@ yahoo.com. Oh and delicious looking recipie

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