Bananas make great cakes (and muffins, quick breads, tarts, and pie fillings). One thing about bananas, though, is they have to be ripe. Never use a banana for baking if it is not at least dotted with brown spots—or even darker—or your cake won’t have any banana flavor. And always mash bananas with a fork or potato masher—don’t throw them in the food processor—hand-mashed bananas impart a more vivid flavor to any batter or filling. I like whipped cream with this cake, but chocolate is also a natural with it, as well as fluffy egg-white icing. See the variations at the top of the recipe. If you like, sprinkle the layers with another tablespoon of rum when assembling the cake.
Slide the cake to a platter and cut wedges at the table, using a sharp, thin-bladed knife.
Keep the cake refrigerated or the whipped cream might melt. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate leftovers.
Use the chocolate ganache from the Perfect Birthday Cake, the caramel whipped cream from the Whipped Cream Layer Cake, or the fluffy white icing from the Devil’s Food Cake, to fill and cover the cake. I would only use the coconut with the last of these—the chocolate and caramel fillings are best alone on the banana cake.
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.