Just when I thought I might be getting weary of the #52Cakes Challenge, I discovered the joy of creating my own cake recipes. Last week was my inaugural experiment with a small Fresh Strawberry Cake and so this week I wanted something a little more challenging.
I sat at the kitchen counter and contemplated the bananas that were starting to darken up nicely. I could roast them in their skins like The Homesick Texan does for her Banana Pudding, that would be a great flavour to build on! Yes, this is where the excitement started. Then I spotted the bowl of deep red cherries next to the bananas and wondered if they would pair well with the roasted bananas. As I tried to imagine the outcome of a Roasted Banana Cherry Cake excitement revved its engine.
Before I describe what happened next, I need to give you some back story. Last week I was invited to a Jack Daniel’s tasting held at Murietta’s. Jeff Arnett, who is the seventh master distiller in the history of Jack Daniel’s, was visiting Calgary for the 101st year of the Calgary Stampede to celebrate the historic, first-time partnership of Jack Daniel’s and the Calgary Stampede. It was a lovely evening, that I will tell you about in another post, and Murietta’s did a phenomenal job of serving a five course meal that incorporated Jack Daniel’s into each dish. It was there, eating the delicious food and hearing our gracious, Southern host describe the whiskey making process, that I started dreaming of using Jack Daniel’s in a cake.
So, back to my roasted banana and cherry story! I didn’t think about the cherries too long before I remembered the gift bag I had brought home from the Jack Daniel’s tasting. There was a miniature bottle of Tennessee Honey in that bag and I could hear it begging to be combined with the cherries. My excitement was at full throttle and racing down the track!
And so the Roasted Banana Cherry Cake was born and, as I served it to family and friends who oohed and ahhed, my enthusiasm for #52Cakes reached higher levels than ever before. It worked! Something I dreamed up, from start to finish, was a huge success!
- ⅔ to 1 cup of chopped cherries
- 1 oz Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 roasted and mashed bananas (3/4 cup)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ baking powder
- ¼ baking soda
- 1⅓ cup flour
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 mashed banana
- left over liquid from cherries
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 8oz package softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Pour 1 oz of Tennessee Honey over chopped cherries in a small bowl and let soak for 2 hours. (You could replace Tennessee Honey with 2 tsp of good quality vanilla extract and 1 TBS of honey or sugar.)
- Roast 3 bananas, in their skins, on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9x9 square cake pan and generously sprinkle with sugar.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add in eggs one at a time.
- Remove 2 bananas from their skins, mash and stir in.
- In a separate bowl, mix together salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour.
- Alternate mixing dry mixture and buttermilk into the wet ingredients.
- Reserve the liquid from the cherries and gently stir cherries into the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cake cool in a pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a rack.
- Remove remaining banana from it's skin and mash it very finely.
- Simmer the mashed banana with the reserved cherry liquid for 5 minutes. (If you used vanilla extract in the cherries, do not simmer, just mix until incorporated.)
- Place cherry banana sauce in a mixing bowl and mix in cream cheese and butter until smooth and light.
- Gradually beat in powdered sugar.
- Frost cake once it is cool.
- Keep refrigerated once frosted.
In case you have not yet been introduced to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, allow me to tell you a little bit about it. It is fairly new to the market being introduced in 2011, and even though I am an Old No. 7 fan myself I had never tried it. It is crafted by mixing the world-renowned Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey with a proprietary honey liqueur resulting in a sweet and smooth taste. If you are drinking it straight it is best served chilled but it also works well with other mixers like lemonade, tea or ginger ale. Jeff Arnett enjoys his in a cup of coffee which sounds really good to me!