An easy and delicious recipe for a Classic Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
My husband and I tend to agree on most things, but something we cannot convince each other of is the perfect stage of ripeness for a banana. I like my bananas to be somewhat ripe – no hint of green on the peel and maybe just a speckle of brown here and there to indicate that it is good for eating. Monsieur, on the other hand, likes his bananas to camouflage with the avocados in the fruit bowl; and to clarify, I am referring to the brown variety of avocados, and not the ones with the lovely smooth green skin.
A lovely Aussie friend was recently telling me about her menu plans for Thanksgiving, and my interest was piqued when she mentioned that she would be making a cheese ball for the appetiser. Her cheese ball, if she was still in Australia, would have been comprised of cream cheese with cheddar and good ol’ Coon, sprinkled with curry powder and decorated with fried onions. I was instantly transported back to the 1980s in Australia and my heart warmed with such nostalgic memories.
You may have noticed my sporadic presence online over this summer and I think I must, unfortunately, now call an end to what was nicknamed a “summer break” but was more a sofa-slumped summer due to the soggy weather which prevailed. I kept waiting for the hot summer sun to beckon me into one of my new summer dresses but, much to my husband’s dismay when he saw the credit card bill, they all remain unworn, hanging limply in the wardrobe waiting for better luck next year.
And so before I knew it, plums have come into season and the farmers markets are now a celebration of autumnal red, yellow and green.
This is the ultimate “minimum effort, maximum effect” dessert. Served in little pretty glasses, these deconstructed cheesecakes will fool your guests into thinking that you have been labouring away in the kitchen Top Chef-style when, actually, they require no more than 15 minutes to create from scratch.
In my last post, I was complaining about the bout of hot weather which we have had recently in Zurich. It seems that the weather has now turned too soon and summer has somehow disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. For all of my complaining, I miss those breezeless afternoons spent on the balcony, lazing about with a good book or magazine. But the return of cooler weather has meant a return to the television room, a somewhat neglected room in our home because we hardly ever watch TV, although I do have a soft spot for watching back-to-back episodes of TV shows on DVD when time permits.
One thing I love to do when the rain is bashing outside is to pop on a cooking DVD; I somehow never seem to tire of listening to Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver going about their kitchen with their enthusiasm for the recipe at hand. I was recently watching an episode of Nigella’s Kitchen where Nigella was making a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, a calorie-laden recipe which is quite true to her kitsch junkie style, not to mention that she made the whole thing whilst wearing a black satin nightrobe, all the while miraculously managing to avoid spilling anything on herself. Perhaps if I, too, donned a silk nightrobe instead of a frilly apron everytime I entered the kitchen, I might make less of a mess??
I can’t say that I have always been a fan of carrot cake. Growing up, the idea of a cake with a vegetable component didn’t sound very appealing to me. And coupled with the fact that most carrot cakes I had tried were on the dry, dense and healthy-tasting side, I couldn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. But in recent years, fellow foodie friends have steered me onto the path to carrot cake heaven with their favourite recipes, and now I am a true believer.
I gladly present to you three tried-and-tested recipes …