Friday, August 12, 2011

Worth every bite... even if you slip on the banana peel

from NoWheyMama

Bananas Foster Cake

"...Modeled after the traditional flavors of bananas foster, the layers are soaked in rum before assembly and topped with a caramel frosting that pulls the whole dessert together. In the typical showy fashion of traditional bananas foster, the banana slices used for garnish could be made with the addition of some rum, and then set ablaze to let the alcohol cook off. Knowing my personal ineptitude with fire, I think it is safer to recommend a simple sauté. The end results are still extraordinary, even without the stovetop bonfire."

Banana Cake
2½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
⅔ Cup Plain Soymilk
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Cup Margarine
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
5 Ripe, Medium-Sized Bananas
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
6 Tablespoons Rum (Any Variety)

Caramel Frosting
1 Cup Margarine
3½ Cups Confectioner's Sugar
⅓ Cup Brown Sugar
1½ Teaspoons Water
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Sautéed Bananas
1 Firm, Large Banana, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water

Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and lightly grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the soymilk and vinegar, also moving this to the side. In your stand mixer, cream together the margarine and both sugars until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas well and mix them in, along with the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternately with your now curdled soymilk, into your mixer. Ensure that everything is fully combined before equally dividing the batter between your two prepared pans. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and while they are still warm, poke the cake tops numerous times with your testing toothpick. Evenly pour 3 tablespoons of the rum over each of the layers. Let the cake layers cool completely before turning them out of the pans to frost.

For the frosting, cream the margarine well and incorporate the confectioner's sugar slowly. Microwave the brown sugar together with the water for approximately 30 to 60 seconds, just until the sugar dissolves and it begins to bubble a bit. Let the brown sugar stand for a few minutes to cool off, then pour it into the margarine mixture. With the mixer on high, beat the frosting vigorously until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla, and frost the cake as desired.

For the banana garnish, combine the brown sugar and water in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana, and stir to coat all of the pieces well. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the sugar bubbles and darkens into a golden caramel, stirring gently every so often. Remove the bananas from the skillet and transfer them to a silpat. Separate each slice so that they do not stick together. Let them cool completely before garnishing the cake.

Makes 10 to 12 Servings

Suggested Tea Pairing: 
I would recommended a high quality plain Oolong... but should you be feeling extra frisky, I would say an Almond Oolong

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Orange Tea Cake

from Taste of Home

Prep: 20 mins, Bake: 30 mins + cooling


  • 7 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon confectioners' sugar


  • Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sift flour and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Blend in orange juice and peel. Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture; mix well.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  • Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan onto a wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Run a knife around sides of cake and remove to a serving plate. Dust with confectioner's sugar. 

  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Nutritional Analysis: One serving (1 piece) equals 211 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 124 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch.

  • Suggested Tea PairingPomegranate Passion Iced Tea - Adagio’s 'Passionfruit and Pomegranate with just a kick of mango in the background creates a light delicious iced-tea' perfect for Summertime

Friday, August 5, 2011

Festive Zestive Shortbread


Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread
This zippy tea treat may be 'short' on 'bread', but it's long on flavor

12 Servings
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling: 20

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  1. In a bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar. Stir in poppy seeds and lemon juice. Gradually add flour; mix well. Divide dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a 4-in. circle. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Cut each circle into six wedges. Prick dough with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar.
  2. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 4 minutes before removing to wire racks. Break into wedges when cool. 
Yield - 24 pieces
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 183 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 116 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.

For a tasty twist, roll the dough into  small balls, make a thumb indenture, bake, then fill with preserves and/or garnish with lemon curd & a berry or two

Tea Paring Suggestion:  Lady Grey