I always have bananas in my freezer as I buy bananas from Costco which come in a big bunch of at least 7-8 large bananas, and too often they seem to ripen at about the same time. They seem to go from green to almost yellow-green to yellow with brown spots all too soon. And I am no fan of ripe bananas. So into the freezer they go.
Usually I’m quite happy to make banana bread but somehow during the last round of banana bread I got tired of eating it really quickly. It just felt so heavy and stodgy. I wanted something that was a lot lighter, more of a cake than a bread. And somehow online I came across this cake recipe that read almost like it was heading a little towards a chiffon cake, something that would be light and different, with whipped egg whites and gula melaka (palm sugar). I reckon that if you can’t find palm sugar (usually at Asian supermarkets) you could use brown sugar, maybe with a bit of molasses to add a depth of flavour. I’ve adapted this recipe to include a step I learnt from Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Banana Bread Recipe, adding a sort of banana essence, made from the reduced liquid from thawed bananas. If you are not using frozen bananas, you can microwave your fresh bananas for a few minutes until soft and some liquid is released. It may be an extra step but it really adds such extra banana flavour to your cake!
Light banana cake
150g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 large bananas – about 250g
(I use frozen bananas. Thaw them, sieve the liquid that inevitably remains, and heat the liquid on the stove, reduce it down to at least half and you get the most banana-y liquid ever. Almost like an essence)
100ml gula melaka syrup
100g vegetable or coconut oil
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
75g caster sugar
Line a 7″ square pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
Mash banana and add oil, egg yolks, salt, gula melaka syrup, mix the ingredients.
Add the baking powder and baking soda to the flour and sift this into the banana mixture and mix until well combined. Do not over-mix. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat the egg white until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar. Continue beating on medium speed while gradually adding the caster sugar. Beat until you get firm peaks.
Gently fold the meringue into the flour mixture in 2 to 3 portions.
Pour into the baking tin. Drop the pan on the counter to get rid of big bubbles.
Place in a water bath and bake for 80 minutes at 350. Cover the top with foil if it is browning too fast.
Cool on a wire rack