And I may have my pH reversed, (low vs,. high or high vs. low), but it's the same principal.
Is there such a thing as a FLUFFY banana cake? - Page 2
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The best banana flavor comes from black, over ripe bananas because the sugar and flavor is naturally developed and the pH is the lowest - so it does not effect your leavening. Yellow or slightly green bananas have a high pH, low flavor and low sugar. But if you pop yellow or slightly green bananas in the oven to roast, you are forcing the pH down, developing the sugars and essentially speed ripening them by caramelizing them in the skin. You will not get the same results if you take them out of the skin and try and cook them either in the oven or on the stove. Same goes if you want to use fresh pumpkin, sweet potato, yams or other gourds and fruits to make a cake. Always roast them in their natural state.
I have had GREAT success converting my regular yellow cake recipe to a banana cake - I just swap out 1/2 my buttermilk for mashed ripe bananas. I reverse cream, and because I've lowered the pH by roasting or use bananas that are over-ripe, the pH in the banana is about the same as my buttermilk - so I don't have to alter my leavening. It has the texture of a fluffy cake with a tight crumb, smooth mouthfeel, and is especially tasty with some mini chocolate chips thrown in topped with Nutella SMBC.
The buttermilk is still necessary for emulsion and for tenderness, if you use too much banana you will get a heavy muffin or bread texture.
Thanks for chiming in FromScratchSF. ^^ This may have contributed to the problem. I used yellow, just ripe bananas. I know, I know I should have waited, but I really wanted to test out my recipe I have 4 bananas that I have placed on the fridge and plan to forget about for the next few days.
For my next test, I've decided to add some sour cream to the recipe rather than an extra banana to avoid the heaviness that the extra banana can bring. Upped my baking soda by a small fraction to compensate for the extra acid.
Looked up some stuff online and you're right that the pH does change as the fruit ripens (making the 'nanas less acidic as the sugar content increases with ripening). Kinda makes sense as underripe fruits tend to be super acidic compared to their ripe counterparts. So other than the soda for the sour cream I won't mess with the leavening too much. Thanks!
I make this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Banana-Upside-Down-Cake-2516 and just omit the first step of the caramelized bananas. It is very fluffy and not at all like a banana bread texture.
Thank you erin2345. I'll see what I can incorporate from that recipe. I love the idea of caramelized bananas... just as a snack while the cake bakes hehehe.
I read that puree-ing kinda ups the overall liquid content of the batter making the cake heavier. I think I'm going to mash loosely leaving chunks (kind of a cross between mashed and chopped) so the 'nanas don't mess too much with the rest of the ingredients of the tried-and true yellow cake.
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Be careful with sour cream - it might add too much fat to your cake making it dense (unless your recipe already calls for sour cream). Can't wait to hear how it goes!