“To satisfy the human tastes and prejudices there is probably a daily expenditure of two billion woman-hours in the kitchens and dining rooms of the world… men who wax flowery and effusive about the excellence of Mother’s cooking should remember that her reputation was made while they were hungry boys” C. C. Furnas, in Man, Bread and Destiny ©1937
I go through phases where the thought of spending one more second in the kitchen is about as appealing as camel hair underwear. I loathe loading and unloading the dishwasher for the second time, and my feet grow weary of tracing and retracing the same figure eight between the stove and sink and counter. But I’m often forced into the kitchen by the demands of my own body, of my children’s bodies, and by my own ethical concerns. Three beautifully rotting bananas were donated to me last week and I realized that if I didn’t do something with them soon, they would be wasted. I know that you can freeze bananas, even black ones, and they will remain usable. However, experience has taught me that if I hide them in the freezer, I’ll never get around to using them.
I make a more than decent banana bread, and banana pudding, although delicious, doesn’t work all that well with rotten bananas, so I decided to go out on a limb and try something new. I started thinking about the nature of bananas, their tropical origins, and googled around until I saw that many Thai recipes involve bananas. Go figure. Darlene Schmidt over at About.com has a recipe for something she calls Thai-style Banana Cake. It looked like a good place to start, but I had three bananas instead of two, so I’ve changed the recipe to my liking. This is my version of a Thai-style banana cake, which I’ve decided to call Banana Nípphaan, or Banana Nirvana. My kids and the Hot Boyfriend said it was excellent. The Postmodern Daughter liked it most of all and that that it was “puddingy,” which is the postmodern way to say that I finally made a cake that was moist instead of corrugated cardboard.
- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 2/3 cup baker’s sugar (fine grain)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 can of coconut milk (use the full-fat kind…if you’re going to eat cake, eat good cake)
- 1 and 1/2 mashed bananas (the blacker the better)
- 2 cups sweet rice flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Cream the butter and sugar, mash the bananas, beat the eggs, and combine all liquid ingredients.
- Combine the dry ingredients and fold in the wet ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Pour the batter into a 9 inch cake pan that has been greased and floured.
- 1 and 1/2 mashed bananas
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine these ingredients and pour over the cake batter before baking the cake. The sauce will form a sort of marbling in the batter.
- Bake for approximately one hour or until the center is no longer liquid, but more like a jello or pudding consistency.
- Eat the cake and thank your lucky stars that you can eat something like this, while people like me can only look at it with something that resembles violent lust.