Monday, January 30, 2012

It's All in the Timing

There they sat on the kitchen counter, ripely resplendent in their thick, soft skins, filling the air with their pungently buttery tropical scent. Slightly sad looking now they could be mistaken for being past their prime.
But, those softening, external cues are just the sign that these fruits are ready, they have reached the critical moment of perfection, wait any longer and the magic moment will have disappeared, conjured by time into a rotting mass only fit for the compost pile.
So I seize the moment. Let nature lead the way and pay attention to her timing. Step in when my part is required.
While we must take our destiny in our own hands, and be responsible for our fate; there are times when we can't force action, we must sit and wait our turn. Let the universe carry the load of our future for a spell. Then re-enter with renewed vigour and clarity that our decisions are leading the way to our hearts true fate.
A lesson in life, a lesson in banana cake.

Coconut Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Inspired by Ina Garten's 'Old Fashioned Banana Cake' as it appears in 'Barefoot Contessa: how easy is that?'

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons coconut essence
Finely grated zest of one orange
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (this is the really finely grated kind)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line an 8 inch square baking tin.
  2. While the oven is warming toast the almonds for about 5 minutes and then chop roughly.
  3. Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, beat together the bananas and sugars until combined.
  4. Add oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla essence, coconut essence and orange zest, and mix together on a low speed.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, almond meal, coconut, baking soda and salt. With the mixer still on low speed add the dry ingredients to the silky banana brew and beat until just combined.
  6. Add the chopped, roasted almonds and stir gently with a bowl scraper.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and slide into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test readiness by inserting a toothpick. When it comes out clean, your cake is ready to come out of the oven.
  8. Cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then place on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

180grams cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

Place all ingredients except coconut, into a medium size bowl and beat until smooth.
Spread on cooled cake, sprinkle with dessicated coconut.
Serve and enjoy the fruits of your labour!


  1. Must make now, must make now, must make now.... !! Yum. xo

  2. Gorgeous cake and .. I'm from Brisbane too!

    I love Ina, she's so hardcore butter and sugar ;)

  3. you were speaking directly to me with this one. omg. i need this. now.

  4. would it be bad if i just made the cream cheese frosting part and licked it all up?? ;)

    1. I couldn't eat the cake, so I just licked the icing bowl! Works for me :)