Friday, May 6, 2011

Banana Poundcake

Tried and True - Banana Poundcake

kitchen baking
Banana Poundcake

A few weeks ago when I posted the Chocolate Poundcake recipe, I came across this one. Per the dated notations I'd made it in 2001 and hadn't made it since. Because this year I determined that I would either use the recipes I'd collected or toss them, I set this recipe aside, along with the Chocolate Poundcake recipe, to make in the near future. Well I never did get the Chocolate Poundcake made at all. However, this past week I had three very ripe bananas on my counter and no clue what I'd be making for our weekend dessert. After dithering about in the kitchen, looking up recipes, discarding them and looking up more, I found myself turning again and again to the Banana Poundcake recipe.

The ultimate decision came from Chance. Still unable to make up my mind, I explained my dilmena. "So you choose," I told him. "I can make a Banana Pudding or a Banana Poundcake." To be honest, I couldn't have been more surprised with his answer. I was that certain he'd choose the Banana Pudding, but he said "Poundcake, by all means!" with such enthusiasm and readiness that I had no doubt at all he meant it.

So Banana Poundcake it was. I got out the ingredients and measured them out and then left them to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. I read through the instructions twice (remember I told you how tricky poundcakes can be?) to be certain I understood all the steps involved. Then I read my own notes.
The recipe called for a 10" tube pan. I have none in my possession at this time, and apparently hadn't then either. I noted that I made it in a bundt pan and the cake 'cooked out and ran over the edges'. Hmmmm. I decided I'd use two loaf pans to bake the cake this time around (since I no longer have the bundt pan either!). That involved still more searching because I had no idea how long the loaves should bake.
I found three other recipes in various cookbooks and among my saved recipes that called for loaf pans for poundcakes. One involved baking the cakes at 300F, which wasn't at all the temperature recommended for the recipe I planned to use. I looked a little further and found that the average baking time for loaf poundcakes was about an hour. I was careful not to check my loaves until the first hour was up. I found the cakes not quite ready, so set the timer for 10 minutes more. Still finding them a little damp I went five more minutes. That was just right for one pan and just a little too much for the other, which had a slightly darker tint than the other. The edges were just a tad scorched on the darker pan. I made sure to note this on my recipe so that in future I won't have the same troubles.

And just for the record the one other difficulty I ran into: I carefully mixed all the ingredients in the exact order as stated. Just before removing the beater from my KitchenAid mixer, I noted the jar of eggs sitting by the mixer...Yes, I'd forgotten to add my eggs! So I beat them in, one at a time at the end, and prayed the cake would turn out well. Overbeating is as common a mistake with poundcake as underbeating. My mistake didn't seem to hurt the poundcake a bit, if the end results tell anything at all, but I do not recommend forgetting the eggs and tossing them in at the end of the mixing!

The cake is delicious the first day (we waited until evening to sample it). I stored my cake in a zippered bag on the counter and found that the cake became a little more moist after storage. We ate one loaf cake this weekend (with extra slices going to Mama's for her enjoyment) and I wrapped the other well and put in a zippered freezer bag and placed it in the freezer for a future time.

By the way, this recipe is from Southern Living magazine. I can't begin to tell you what month or year, but suffice it to say that my copy was dated 10-01-01 in my own handwriting, so either October 2001 or any time prior to that was it's publication date.

Banana Poundcake

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat shortening and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine mashed bananas, milk and vanilla extract.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until blended.

Add flour mixture to shortening mixture alternately with banana/milk mixture. (I found it helpful to add 1/3 of the flour mix followed by 1/2 of the banana mixture, so that I began and ended with the flour.) Beat at low speed after each addition and mix just until blended. Pour batter into greased and floured pan(s). Bake at 350F.

For 2 standard sized loaf pans bake for 60-75 minutes checking periodically after cake has baked at least 55 minutes.

For a 10 inch tube pan: recipe recommends 1 hour and 20 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake(s) in pan(s) on wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out and allow to complete cooling on wire rack.

Recipe makes 2 standard loaves or 1 10-inch tube pan.