Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is just the thing to use up those rapidly ripening bananas in the fruit bowl. I used 3 very ripe bananas for this cake which gave it a great flavour. The recipe calls for buttermilk which results in a more soft and airy texture; but like all banana cakes, it is still quite dense and moist. The cream cheese frosting recipe I followed turned out too sweet for my liking so I added more lemon juice, more cream cheese and a decent amount of whipping cream. The resulting frosting was a little runnier than it would have been because of the cream but it firmed up after an hour in the fridge (I couldn’t wait that long to cut the first slice!). I really enjoyed this banana cake and the housemates helped polish it off within 48 hours- that says it all.

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Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm  Comments (6)  
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Baked Cheesecake with Passionfruit Syrup and Fruit Salad

Okay I admit it. I am completely addicted to this season of MasterChef Australia. I barely paid attention to the show in the past, but this time around I’ve been well and truly sucked in. It’s a great source of inspiration and I also find myself learning quite a bit.

Recently on the show, Donna Hay showed us how to make a classic baked cheesecake. Now I’ve tried a few different cheesecakes in my time, both baked and unbaked, but this one looked more promising than anything I had made before. I am generally not a fan of Donna Hay’s recipes because I find them to be almost too simple; she is a food stylist afterall, not a chef. But a cheesecake is essentially quite simple, and she demonstrated some good tips on the show which I was eager to try out – plus Muffy demanded cheesecake after catching a glimpse of what was happening on the tv.

The original recipe can be found here. I changed it a little because I didn’t want to use ricotta, but essentially it is the same. I substituted the ricotta for mascarpone which is an Italian style triple-cream cheese. It’s probably not as good for you as ricotta, but then that’s kind of the point. You could also use sour cream or creme fraiche instead, it really doesn’t matter too much with cheesecake.

I served it with a simple fruit salad of pineapple, strawberries and kiwi which did a good job of balancing out the richness of the cake. I also made a quick syrup to pour over using tinned passionfruit pulp and sugar, reduced down a bit in a saucepan.

Unfortunately the cheesecake itself didn’t turn out as good as I was hoping. I know the recipe is not the problem though, because I tasted the uncooked mixture and it was pretty amazing. I have suspected for a while now that my oven runs too hot, and after this cheesecake I am more sure than ever. It rose a lot more than I was expecting (at 150C) and cracked on top towards the end of cooking. Those are the typical signs of an oven being too hot, and baked cheesecake is particularly susceptible to cracking.

I will definitely make this again, but in a cooler oven if I decide to bake it. Or I might just take out the eggs, add some gelatin and turn it into an unbaked cheesecake. The mixture is seriously SO GOOD. You could easily halve the recipe for the filling as it makes a very tall cake, but adjust the cooking time accordingly. I really liked the base of this cheesecake as well. So many recipes call for crushed biscuits but this had a much nicer texture and flavour.

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Published in: on June 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm  Comments (4)  
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