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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Plantain Cake

I don't know why the creators called this bread, when it's clearly cake.   It was created by two well-respected chefs, but the recipe had an error and the directions seem scattered.  I can't help wondering if this was something they threw together without much testing.  The original comes with a hazelnut cream cheese; it didn't seem necessary, but admittedly there seemed to be something missing.  The addition of whipped cream didn't quite cut it.

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for the plantain
1 large, ripe plantain
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 ripe bananas
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to thoroughly grease a 9 inch round glass pie dish. Peel the plantain and slice it 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal. In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium heat and saute the plantain for 2 or 3 minutes per side, until softened and golden. Distribute the plantain evenly on the bottom of the pie dish and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Peel the bananas and, in a medium bowl, mash them together with a fork, then mix in the milk and the walnuts. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. First add the banana mixture to the creamed butter mixture, then fold in the flour mixture, stirring only until all the flour has disappeared. Scoop the batter into the pie dish on top of the plantains and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will be a nice deep golden brown. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out upside down and slice for serving, warm or at room temperature.

Conclusion:  It was tasty, but nothing more than a sweet banana bread with plantains.  Unfortunately, the plantains turn a little starchy when fried.  This cried out for rum, and possibly coconut.  Walnuts are unnecessary.

Recipe:  Sweet Plantain Bread via Food Network

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