Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thank Goodness It's November and a recipe for Banana Oatmeal Cake with Browned Butter Icing

It has been a very busy Autumn...October went by in a blur. As soon as I returned from my week in Germany on the last day of September, it was a marathon that ended on November's doorstep. I am thrilled to have survived.
My sister, Dawn, moved down to Texas from Connecticut the same day Scott left on a week long motorcycle trip with his brother. The day after Scott returned from his trip, he did a 2 day stint at Garrison's Bros. -of Bourbon fame- in Hye, Texas. His brother volunteered with him the first day and I went the second. The very next day we left on a L-O-N-G train trip to New Orleans for Marta's wedding. That was a weekend for the memory book...fabulous food (I didn't expect any less), a very cool hotel, an amazing wedding and reception (I danced in very high heels for 3 hours) and then back home on the train...all six of us-Scott and I, Dawn, Skip (my ex), Lily and sweet Natalie. Nat loved the train of course-it was all a huge adventure for her. I taught her to do Sudoku and she went on to teach Dawn and GooGoo (Skip). She completely amazes me on a regular basis.
After returning from New Orleans, we didn't even stop to catch our breath before Dawn and I baked almost 900 cookies for the Harvest Classic. It was another successful benefit and an altogether fun weekend.
A selection of miscellaneous photos follow the recipe.
Having my sister here has been great. We spent the first two days talking about our childhood. After getting THAT out of the way, we could start moving forward. She is a happy gal and it is fun hanging out with her.
So now I am preparing for our huge Thanksgiving gig in Camp Verde. Did my first day of shopping today and tomorrow I will start working in earnest.
I wanted to post a recipe I developed last year that went over real well. It goes together pretty quickly and is more than the sum of its parts. Not much more than a simple snack cake, it is elevated by the addition of oatmeal to the cake batter and browning the butter in the icing.
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats-not quick oats
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees if using a glass baking dish). Grease a 9x9 square baking pan. In a mixer, cream together brown sugar, yogurt, buttermilk, eggs and butter until smooth. Add mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake has pulled ever so slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool on a rack.
To make the icing, place the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Do not use a cast iron skillet as you want to be able to gauge the color of the butter and a dark skillet will prevent you from doing this. Let the butter melt and then foam a bit. The top will show bubbles and then a thin layer of "foam". The butter will begin to color a bit and dark specks will form on the bottom of the pan. You want the butter to be darker than golden, but not dark brown. I usually wait for it to get golden then take it off the heat and let it finish on the counter. The residual heat from the pan keeps it reason a heavy bottomed pan is essential. The butter will have a delicious, nutty smell. Mix the browned butter with the sifted confectioners sugar. It will be lumpy. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. You can add a teaspoon or two more of heavy cream if needed to make a smooth icing. Spread over the cooled cake.

A few pics from last month:
Bottles filling with some very fine Bourbon at Garrison Bros.
The view from above of some very happy (and busy) volunteers
Scott doing some quality control
I wish I could say I took the excellent photos above, but they were all taken by the very talented photographer, Gregg Burger. He has so many more of the bottling process at Garrisons on his website:  Check them out!
Lily, me and Dawn at the Harvest Classic.
Natalie and I
Scott and I with Marta
GooGoo with his girls
Just Married!!
Congratulations Marta and James!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful and so are your girls! Thanks for all the great recipes too! Ada Rose