Monday, October 18, 2021

Sheet Happens!


And that's in sheetcake. Abby Dodge, who wrote the new cookbook Sheetcakes, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe for Banana Buttermilk Stacked Cake. It's like a regular cake, except, as she told Tonia, she takes the sheet cake and cuts it into three rounds or rectangles, tops each round with the frosting (in this case, chocolate cream) and stacks each portion on top of the other. She's not done though. There's plenty of cake left over, of which Abby takes and creates what she calls cake croutons, and stacks those as well. Lots of delicious building going on here!

For the cake
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
3 medium very, very ripe bananas (about 14 ounces including peels), peeled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup (3 ounces) chopped, toasted walnuts, optional

For the fudgy frosting
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt

To make the cake
1. Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 9 by 2-inch round cake pans, tapping out the excess flour.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer (stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or handheld mixer) on medium-high until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the bananas and vanilla and beat until well blended and only small bits of banana remain. Add the eggs two at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will look curdled and a bit lumpy. Don’t worry, it will all come together. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the buttermilk and mix just until blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until blended. Stir in the walnuts, if using. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly.