Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Almond Banana Birthday Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Are you drooling yet? I sure was when I came across this recipe title last week. I was searching for the perfect birthday cake inspiration for my mom's big day. Luckily, she's like me and chocolate isn't at the top of her list. She did provide me some guidance in suggesting either orange cream, white chocolate, almond, or banana cream. When I came across this recipe for Almond Banana Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Frosting, I felt I had hit the jackpot because I would be able to incorporate 2 of her ideas in one cake. Well if only it were that easy. If only it would have turned out as good as it sounded. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with this cake, there just wasn't that wow factor. The cake itself was a little dry, which totally surprised me based on how moist most banana bread is. I think it needs more banana and perhaps some sour cream to provide a little bit more moisture.

The icing, oh the icing! I don't usually have issues with baked goods but this icing got me. Caramel can be a finicky thing, so much so that I came pretty darn close to throwing the entire stockpot out the window! I later realized my mistake but not before I was faced with a big blob of sugary mess, not icing. I later switched recipes to a recipe my mom had made before (by the way, this icing on this cake - even though it's chocolate- is DIVINE!). It turned out much better but I should have let the caramel cook a tad longer to enhance both the color and the flavor. I did manage to salvage some of the "brick" caramel and used it to candy some pecans for a salad and then broke it into small pieces to decorate the top of mom's cake. It has a great flavor - as it should with sugar, butter, and cream - so I hated to waste it.

My mom enjoyed it and that's all that matters. The entire cake was eaten, so all was not lost! I'm going to go ahead and start looking now for next year's cake. Any suggestions that fit into the guidelines above?

Colin thoroughly enjoyed "helping" Buff open her presents along the way of her scavenger hunt. It sure doesn't take a kid long to learn the art of ripping paper off a present. I think he just enjoys the opportunity to actually get to tear something and not get in trouble for it!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

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