Thursday, April 9, 2009

Strawberry Banana Cream Cake

This was originally a Banana Cream Cake.. we kept the bananas, but replaced the banana-flavored pudding and also added strawberries. Anyway, it ended up tasting (and looking) really good! Mission accomplished :)

Strawberry Banana Cream Cake

- 4 bananas and a carton of strawberries
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional.. I don't like nuts in desserts, so we didn't use them)
- chocolate chips (it called for 1/3 cup, but we just sprinkled on however many we felt like.. again, your call)
- 2 boxes instant banana cream pudding mix (like I said, we used vanilla.. sounded better)
- 3 3/4 cup cold milk (or however much the pudding box calls for, really)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. (Note: We also sprinkled a thin layer of flour on also.. slides right out after you're done baking!)
2. In large bowl, mash one banana (sounds kind of sketchy, go with it). Add cake mix, eggs, water and oil (the egg, water and oil amount in recipe, not on box). Beat with electric mixer on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl, if necessary. Fold in nuts (optional). Scrape batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top of each cake. (They end up sinking right to the bottom, but since you cut them in half anyway, it still works out).
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 32 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick insterted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean (always go with the toothpicks). Cool cakes in pans on wire racks about ten minutes. Carefully invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Remove pans.
4. In medium-sized bowl, prepare pudding mix with the milk, following the package directions. Trim top of each cake layer evenly; slice each layer in half horizontally for a total of four layers. Thinly slice the remaining three bananas and strawberries. Place one of the bottom halves of the cake on a platter. Spread pudding on top.. enough to cover it, but not so much it's spilling off the sides. Then arrange the strawberries and bananas on top in whatever fashion you would like. Place another layer on top, and repeat, until you've reached the top layer of cake.
5. In medium-sized bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat together cream, powdered sugar and cocoa powder until well blended and peaks form. Turns out it takes a little while, be patient. It also turned out a little too bitter, so we added some more sugar. Still not the best, we'll probably change that part next time. Spread evenly over the top of the cake, and then garnish how you wish. We opted for putting strawberries and chocolate chips on top, which was a nice choice. Go crazy!

Other notes:
- Keep an eye on it and make sure to scrape away excess pudding that is dripping off the sides. That wasn't too much of a problem, but we did have some fruit try to escape before we got the next layer of cake on.
- You'll probably want to refrigerate immediately. We didn't eat it until a few hours after we made it, but it stayed very nicely in the refrigerator. Doesn't get soggy or brown or anything. Some of it is being stored overnight in a tupperware container, so we'll see how that turns out.

Anyway, this is recipe number one on our blog. Nick made sure to make fun of me a few times for having a food blog, but I think it'll be fun. Secretly, he's into it.. he just has to act cool, I guess.

PS- The cake also tasted really good :)