Tag Archives: Bananas

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

It’s not a secret: I LOVE banana pudding and frankly, anything else that even halfway resembles it. It’s been this way since childhood. So when I receive a cooking magazine in the mail and one of its featured recipes is a banana pudding poke cake, it was imperative that I drop everything and bake it, immediately.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Oh. Wow. This is everything you think it’s going to be. A lovely cake moistened by vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, all underneath a light whipped cream frosting. And of course, those ‘Nilla wafers crumbled on top. It speaks for itself, really.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

A perfect Indian summer treat! Enjoy!

Source: Taste of the South Magazine, May/June 2016

Ingredients:

CAKE:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 cup whole buttermilk
½ cup mashed banana
½ tsp vanilla extract

PUDDING:
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 ½ cups whole milk, divided
8 large egg yolks
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

TOPPING:
3 medium slightly underripe bananas, sliced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-4 tbs confectioners’ sugar
Whole and crushed vanilla wafers, for garnish

Directions:
First, make the CAKE: preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with baking spray.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Add mashed banana and vanilla, beating just until combined. Pour into prepared baking dish, smoothing the top.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then use a wooden spoon to poke holes in the warm cake.
While the cake is baking, make the PUDDING: in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in ½ cup milk and the egg yolks. In a large saucepan, place remaining 3 cups milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk 1 cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture, pouring slowly and whisking constantly. Now whisk the egg mixture into remaining hot milk in the saucepan, again pouring slowly and whisking constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it is boiling, cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts and is completely combined. Let cool 10 minutes (if it cools more than this, it’s fine).
Once the cake is out of the oven, rested, and poked, pour the pudding over the cake. Cover and refrigerate until chilled about 4 hours.
Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip more until stronger peaks form.
Uncover the cake, top all over with the sliced banana, then spread the whipped cream smoothly all over the banana. Sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers and wedge whole wafers around the border of the cake, if desired.

Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones

These are some of the best scones I’ve ever tasted, and I hang my head in shame that I’ve been blogging over three years and haven’t ever shared them with you. Brunch Week is the perfect opportunity! (Maybe I should’ve played it off like, oh I didn’t misstep, I was waiting for Brunch Week or something… eh, too late now!).

Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones

So these scones. They are probably the flakiest I’ve ever tasted, and this is the rare baked good that calls for yellow bananas, not overripe black ones, so when you grocery shop and buy bananas, there’s no waiting for them to blacken so you can bake with them. You can make these scones the same day you buy the friggin’ bananas! That right there is just very exciting.

Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones

The texture is amazing, and the flavor is so perfect. You’ve got sweet banana complemented by spicy ginger, then a tart-sweet lemon glaze is poured over the tops before you dive in. I have to highlight one of our main sponsors, Dixie Crystals here. They sent us all a huge box each of granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar, both of which were used for these beautiful scones. Thank you to Dixie Crystals! Enjoy!

Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones

Source: Fine Cooking Magazine, Feb/Mar 2011

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest
Generous pinch of kosher salt
6 tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 small barely rip, yellow banana, diced
1 tbs minced candied ginger
¾ cup plus 2 tbs heavy cream, plus more for brushing
¾ cup Dixie Crystals confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt

Directions:
To make the scones, preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to work the butter into the flour mixture until a few pea-size lumps remain. Stir in the banana and ginger. Add the cream and gradually stir until the mixture just comes together. Knead for no more than 1 minute with your hands if you have a few scraggly bits.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and pat gently into a circle about 1 inch high. Using a chef’s knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer them to the baking sheet, only spacing them about 1 inch apart (this helps them rise tall and not spread out). Brush the tops with heavy cream, and sprinkle some sugar, preferably raw, on the tops if desired. It’s good but not necessary.
Bake until the tops are golden, 19 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cool the scones slightly, about 3-4 minutes before applying the glaze.
To make the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and salt together until smooth. Drizzle the warm scones liberally with the glaze. Serve.

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m an aunt again (!!!) – a good two weeks earlier than expected. My sister surprised us all with the early arrival of a beautiful baby boy, my newest nephew Preston!! He spent a little time in the NICU but is doing quite well now. He joins big sisters Hannah and Claire, plus big brother Jack, who does not have a birth entry here because I did not have this blog when Jack was born. Oh the problems of being the first born. If it’s any consolation, I have way more baby pictures of you, Jack. 😉

Banana Cream Pie

I’ve had this incredible banana cream pie in the to-blog queue for a few weeks now, and seeing as this is one of my absolute favorite pies on planet Earth, I have been looking for the right occasion to share it. If getting a new nephew isn’t such an occasion, then what possibly could be?

Banana Cream Pie

This is a classic, from-scratch version that is one of the best I’ve tasted, ever (and trust me, I’ve done the leg work there – all the members of my family are big fans of this pie and its pudding cousin). It’s perfect, and creamy, and everything you want banana cream pie to be (and then some!). Even though it wasn’t necessarily planned this way, I really can’t think of a better dessert to share in honor of baby Preston’s arrival.

Banana Cream Pie

I can’t wait to meet him and watch him grow up!! And seeing as he’s one of us, I’m sure that in a few short years he too will be a big fiend for anything containing banana pudding. Enjoy!

Banana Cream Pie

Source: slightly adapted from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree

Ingredients:

CRUST:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp granulated sugar
½ cup melted unsalted butter

FILLING:
2 medium bananas, cut into ½ inch slices
¾ cup granulated sugar
5 tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 tbs powdered sugar

Directions:
For the CRUST: preheat your oven to 350 F. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Grease a regular 9” pie plate and press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool.
For the FILLING, arrange the bananas in the crust. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Stir together until there are no lumps. Mix together the milk and egg yolks and stir into the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Whisk until smooth. Move the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until the custard comes to a boil, taking care to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring, until thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and vanilla. Pour the custard over the bananas. Cool 20 minutes at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar to taste and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cooled custard and refrigerate to let it set up, preferably overnight but at least several hours. Overnight yields the best results.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Banana Pudding Ice Cream 049

In light of yesterday’s Avocado Milkshakes, and because I have some ice cream photos/recipes lying around to share with you, and because I’m leaving for a much-needed vacation later this week and don’t have time to cook much of anything, I’m doing ICE CREAM WEEK on the blog this week!! Everyone scream…

So, banana pudding ice cream! Yeah, it’s a thing. Apparently Blue Bell, the greatest commercially made ice cream in existence anywhere, ever, makes a banana pudding ice cream they release in limited edition every summer. I haven’t tried it. I can’t get Blue Bell in New York. I’m not bitter. But thanks to Lisa, we can all make it now. And that eases the resentment slightly.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream 039

I simply adore a good banana pudding (and bad banana pudding is pretty good too, actually), and I have very fond memories of it gracing many picnic tables every summer growing up in Texas. Given the triple-digit temperatures of Dallas summers, desserts during that time period tend to be chilled. And preferably no-bake. So, banana pudding is a no-brainer.

And now we turn it into ice cream. Delicious, summery, beautiful ice cream that literally tastes like someone just magically went pouf!! and turned a bowl of banana pudding into ice cream, just like Jesus turning the water into wine. Really amazing. Everyone at your next summer gathering will go nuts, I promise.

Banana pudding ice cream 046

{One Year Ago: S’Mores Ice Cream, S’Mores Whoopie Pies}

Source: The Homesick Texan

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup of cream
1 1/2 cups of half and half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 egg yolks (save the whites for something else as we won’t be making a meringue)
3/4 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large banana, cut into slices
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups of Nilla Wafers roughly crushed (make sure they’re not crumbs but nice chunks)

Directions:
Add the cream, half and half, and salt to a medium sauce pot. Scald the dairy, meaning bring it up almost to a boil. Do not let it boil though.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Slowly add 1/2 a cup of the warm cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, and then stir the egg mixture back into the remaining cream and half and half in the pot.
Heat this on medium low for 10 minutes or until it gets slightly thick. Stir constantly. Do not let it come to a boil. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the back of your spoon.
Stir in the nutmeg and lemon juice, turn off the heat, and strain the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add in the banana slices. Let the mixture rest until it cools to room temperature.
Remove the banana slices, chill overnight or for at least four hours and then freeze according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. About five minutes before the ice cream is finished being whipped around, add the Nilla Wafers.

Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I have a dream…. A dream that one day…. I will live in a household…. where the people in that household actually *eat* the bananas in the few days after they’ve been purchased. When those bananas are still yellow. When those bananas are actually ripe and perfect for peeling and eating.

banana chocolate whoopie pies

I have a dream…. A dream that someday…. me and my household will not consist of people who always let bananas sit on the counter, neglected, until they go black. That someday, me and my household will not forget that the bananas were even purchased in the first place. That someday, me and my household will no longer be people who only notice the bananas’ very existence when they are overripe and only acceptable for baked goodies.

banana chocolate whoopie pies

But, today, my dream is still only a dream. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bunch of five beautiful, still-slightly-green bananas; I ate one; the other unnamed person in my household ate none. And that explains why, a couple days ago, I noticed four black bananas on the counter. And what could I do but make these whoopie pies?

banana chocolate whoopie pies

So here I am, sharing with you yet another baked creation that exists only because me and my household cannot seem to manage to eat our bananas. Maybe we subconsciously feel we do not need potassium. Or maybe we subconsciously (and consciously!) like the banana baked treats. Because we do keep buying bananas, despite our abysmal track record. In the meantime, please enjoy these delicious and positively addictive cookie sandwiches.

Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies

To prove my point, here is a list of other banana baked treats made because I let bananas go black:

Banana Split Brownies
Banana Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins
Iced Banana Cookies
Banana Buttermilk Waffles
Banana Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Split Cheesecake Bars
Bourbon Banana Bread
Strawberry Banana Bread

Banana Chocolate whoopie pies

{One Year Ago: Meatless Muffulettas}

Source: adapted from The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn

Ingredients:
COOKIES:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
4-5 overripe bananas

FILLING:
6 oz. cream cheese
3 tbs half-and-half
2 scant cups granulated sugar
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

Directions:
First make the COOKIES. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Set aside.
In a medium to large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. With the stand mixer on medium-low, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Peel the bananas, then, with the mixer still running, break them up into chunks and add the chunks, one at a time, to the mixer. Let them become completely incorporated into the batter.
Now, with the mixer still on medium-low, add the flour mixture a little at a time, until it is just incorporated into the batter. Shut off the mixer.
Grease a cookie scoop or a couple of larger cereal spoons and drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets by tablespoonfuls. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies spring back when gently touched and the edges are golden brown.
Transfer the cookies to cooling racks and cool completely before assembling the whoopie pies.
In the meantime, make the FILLING. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all the filling ingredients. Stirring occasionally, let them all melt together until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool completely. You can refrigerate the filling for a bit if desired.
When everything has cooled, assemble the whoopie pies. Take one cookies, and spread some of the chocolate filling on it. Top with another cookie and place on a plate or cooling rack. Continue, until all have been assembled.
Eat one, and try to stop at that. An hour later, call someone to come take the needle out of your arm.

Banana Split Brownies

Banana Split Brownies

Today is a happy day, because it just so happens to be my sister’s birthday! Happy, happy birthday, Megan! I went through my queue of the recipes I have lined up to share with you, hoping to find something like a cake in there, but alas, there were no cakes or cupcakes to be found. These brownies were the closest I could come to birthday cake. But…

making banana split brownies

banana split brownies

Then I realized…. that after over a year of blogging at this little url, I have yet to post a brownie recipe!! I couldn’t believe it! How utterly tragic. So Megan’s birthday marks as good an occasion as any to rectify that misstep. These brownies are not just any ol’ brownie, either; they are sooooo special and delicious, and possibly very fitting for a special birthday celebration (especially if you don’t have any cake).

Banana Split Brownies

The banana part is two-fold: there are bananas mashed into the batter, and there’s banana flavor in the chocolate ganache on top. Then you get those toasted marshmallows that just melt in your mouth, and it’s just heaven. We loved these so much.

Banana split brownies

Hopefully you would love them too, Megan. Happy birthday!!!

Banana split brownies

{One year ago: Peanut-Butter Chocolate Stuffed French Toast}

Source: slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March 2011

Ingredients:
BROWNIES:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 medium overripe banana, peeled and mashed to a smooth consistency
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

GANACHE TOPPING:
¾ cup plus 2 tbs heavy cream
1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
7 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows
¼ cup sliced almonds

Directions:
First, make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350 F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides for easy removal of the brownies. Grease the foil. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Once it’s melted, let it cool for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk to combine. Then add the eggs, banana, and vanilla. Whisk in the cocoa powder and flour, mixing slowly at first, then more vigorously until the batter is combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it and making sure it fills in to the edges of the pan. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the brownies cool in the pan.
Now make the topping. While the brownies cool, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it boils, remove the cream from the heat. Add the banana slices to the cream and let steep for 1 hour.
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Bring the cream back to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and pour the cream through a strainer over the chopped chocolate. Discard the banana. Let the chocolate mixture stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Pour the ganache evenly over the top of the cooled brownies.
Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Cover the ganache with the marshmallows and almonds. Broil, rotating as necessary, until browned. Try to brown them evenly, but if you don’t, it will still be delicious.
Using a knife, free the marshmallow topping from the sides of the pan. Let the brownies cool in the pan a few minutes. Using the foil overhang, remove the brownies from the pan and cut into squares. You can wet the knife to help prevent the marshmallows from sticking and making a mess.

Banana Buttermilk Waffles

Banana Buttermilk Waffles

Hey y’all! I’m still in the thick of redecorating my apartment, so no theme this week, and probably not one next week either, but I’m getting back to *planning* my themes, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and now I can actually see it. Woohoo!

banana buttermilk waffles

In the meantime, there’s something I’ve wondered for a bit, but hadn’t tried my hand at figuring out: could you essentially take a banana bread batter and make pancakes or waffles out of it? And basically have banana bread pancakes/waffles? Because wouldn’t that be the best thing ever? Well, turns out yes you can, and yes it is.

Very, very awesome little breakfast I’m showing you here. Or dinner. Or hey – top it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and a little caramel or fudge sauce and call it dessert! Why the heck not? Enjoy!

Banana buttermilk waffles

{One year ago: Banh Mi}

Source: adapted from Heather Christo’s Generous Table by Heather Christo

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 overripe bananas
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, melted
Toasted pecans and maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your waffle maker to manufacturer’s instructions. Grease with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until they are very smooth. Add the eggs, sour cream, and buttermilk. Whisk to combine. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until just combined. Add the melted butter and whisk again until just combined.
Ladle the batter into the waffle maker, working batches if necessary, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To serve, sprinkle some pecans on top of each waffle and drizzle with maple syrup.

Iced Banana Cookies

iced banana cookies

This week, and probably the next one or two after, there will be no theme on the blog. There will be blogs though, and the recipes will be delicious, promise!

banana soft batch cookies, before baking

Matt and I are redoing our apartment, so things have been a bit scattered and messy. I can’t always get to the kitchen, and I don’t always have time to cook anything, much less organize a themed week. So basically I’ve been cooking and baking willy-nilly, just using up what’s in the fridge and pantry.

soft batch banana cookies

And today we are having some insanely delicious soft-batch cookies that are perfect for using up bananas that are past their peeling and eating prime. So, did I mention these are soft-batch cookies? Oh yeah. They’re like little cakes dripping with sweet glazey icing (is glazey a word? It is now). Amazing and awesome and perfectly sweet. I hope y’all enjoy these, because I think you should make them as soon as you find a blackening banana on your counter.

Iced Banana Cookies

In the meantime – “The Blacklist” is back!!! Woohoo! It was a long, dry Winter Olympics month….

Iced banana cookies

{One year ago: Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos, Spinach Artichoke Paninis, Guinness Beef Stew, BLT Turkey Club Burgers, White Chocolate Mousse}

Source: slightly adapted from Soda Pop Avenue

Ingredients:
COOKIES:
½ cup butter, softened
2 ½ cups flour, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed

GLAZE:
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar, divided
3 tbsp milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla to the butter. Mix well. Mix in the remaining 1 ½ cups flour. Add mashed bananas to the mixture. Mix well.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Beat the butter until it is fluffy. Add 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar and mix well. Add 2 tbs milk and 1 tsp vanilla and mix well. Now add 1 cup powdered sugar and mix well. Add the remaining 1 tbsp milk and mix well.
When the cookies are done, remove from the oven. Let cool about 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Drizzle the glaze liberally onto each cookie. Store in an airtight container, if you have any left!

Pecan-Crusted Coconut Custards with Brandied Banana Sauce #SundaySupper

Pecan-Crusted Coconut Custards with Brandied-Banana Sauce

Welcome to another Sunday Supper! Since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, our theme this week was Cooking for Two. V-Day or not, I think it’s a great one. Cooking for two people is actually kind of difficult, and it’s always nice to have more recipes for that, especially if you are a childless couple or empty nesters, and two people at your dinner table is the norm.

coconut custards

I always feel that dessert is the toughest thing for getting *only* two servings. The vast majority of sweet recipes make waaaayyy more than two servings, and if you live in a two-person household, it can become a problem to have a whole cake, or a whole pie, or a whole big batch of cookies just sitting in your kitchen.

So when I heard of our Cooking for Two theme, I knew I wanted to find a dessert that was literally only two servings. No leftovers sitting around tempting you.

coconut custard with brandied banana sauce

This custard fit the bill perfectly and was quite delicious! It’s not nearly as heavy as it might sound, and though it does have three separate steps, it’s not really difficult to pull off. Perfect for a romantic date night. The brandied banana topping is fairly boozy! Certainly it’s not going to get you inebriated, but I wouldn’t serve it to kids. Also, I think it’s optional; the custard with that pecan crust is perfectly scrumptious all on its own.

So enjoy this one for your next date night! And be sure you check out all the other lovely recipes for two brought to you by my fabulous #SS cohorts!

coconut custard with brandied banana sauce

Source: slightly adapted from A Table for Two by Sharon O’Connor

Ingredients:
PECAN CRUST:
1 scant cup pecans
1 tbs all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tbs unsalted butter

COCONUT CUSTARD:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

BRANDIED BANANA SAUCE:
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 small banana, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
1 tbs granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup brandy

Directions:
First make the CRUST: preheat your oven to 325 F. Grease two 16-oz. ramekins.
In a small food processor, pulse the pecans until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Process until smooth. Divide the crust evenly between the two ramekins and press to adhere on the bottom and sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the CUSTARD. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the cream and coconut, plus the salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, until reduced by about a third. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolk together. Fold into the cooled heavy cream mixture. Evenly spoon the custard into the pecan crusts and set the ramekins in a 9×13” baking dish. Carefully fill the baking dish with water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven (still at 325 F) for about 40-50 minutes, until the custard is just set and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove and cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
When ready to serve, remove the chilled custards from the fridge. Make the SAUCE right before you serve.
In a small-to-medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the banana slices and sauté for 2 minutes, or until browned. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring, for another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and brandy. Stir constantly for about 1 minute, until the bubbling subsides. Then pour the sauce evenly over both custards. Serve immediately.

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Banana Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana pecan cake with Cream cheese frosting

Once again, it’s that time of year when we are bombarded with talk of New Year’s resolutions. Weight-loss companies and gyms descend upon us with ad after ad trying to convince us to partake of their services, to “make this year your year” and finally shed those last few pounds. You can’t get on social media or watch any morning show this time of year without hearing about how we’re all supposed to be making tons of New Year’s resolutions – start keeping a journal! more date nights with your significant other! gossip less! – many of which we’ll break in mere weeks.

overripe bananas

So I’m not going to be too big on the resolution front this year, but I am using the New Year as an excuse opportunity to start a new blog project, which I’m very excited to share with you! Starting Monday, each week will be a themed week of blogging, where each day’s recipe will revolve around a stated ingredient, cooking/baking method, cuisine, etc. – variations on a theme, if you will. 🙂

banana pecan cake, before frosting

This idea started rolling around in my head a few months ago; I’ve spent some time fleshing it out, and I think it will be really fun. I am a list maker, and my brain responds very well to patterns and sequences and the like, so it’s quite easy for me to organize my blog this way. Also, when I cook I tend to enjoy finding an ingredient or cooking/baking method and then want to explore it and stick with it for a while, then move on to something else. So this way, I’ll be able to share that without things seeming like I’m stuck in a rut. And this is quite flexible too – I’ll keep doing it until, well, until it’s not fun anymore, I guess. 🙂

Banana Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

And no, it’s not a New Year’s resolution, because I will not feel guilty if it doesn’t end up working out for whatever reason! This starts on Monday, and I’m so excited for this!! I hope you, all my dear readers, will love it.

banana pecan cake

And now let’s eat cake! This is one of the simplest yet tastiest cakes I’ve ever made. And since it’s only one layer instead of two, there’s less calories per slice. How’s that rationalization? Lol! It’s a great use-up for those bananas quickly blackening on your counter, it comes together quickly, and tastes more impressive than it looks. I used pecans mainly because I had some, but walnuts work well too. Whatever you like. Enjoy!

slice of Banana Pecan Cake

Source: Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

Ingredients:

CAKE:
3 overripe bananas
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, plus a handful extra for decorating the cake

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Make the cake: preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9” round cake pan. Set aside.
Peel the bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mash them somewhat with a fork. Add both sugars and then beat together with an electric mixer until combined. Add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing as you go. When the flour mixture is almost or just barely combined, turn off the mixer and complete mixing it with a spatula. You want it just combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
When the cake has cooled, make the frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Alternately you can add the ingredients to a clean mixing bowl and use a hand mixer with clean beaters. Either way, beat the ingredients together until just combined. Add the sugar a little bit at a time and mix until smooth. (If you dump the sugar in there all at once, you’ll end up wearing most of it.)
Using a rubber spatula, plop the frosting, in gobs, on the center of the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, spread the frosting evenly to the edges of the top of the cake and smooth the top. There’s probably enough frosting to coat the top and sides if you want, but I kept mine just on top because 1) it’s way less messy that way, and 2) I am a fiend for a good cream cheese frosting, and I loved a thick layer.
Place the extra pecans decoratively on top of the frosted cake. Slice into wedges and serve.