Banana Cakes for the Masses

>> Wednesday, April 1

Migros, a massive supermarket chain in Switzerland, seems to hate ripeness. They like their avocados with the squeezability of hand-grenades, their tomatoes the color of blushing porcelain dolls, and the oranges...well, "blond" is not just the variety name.

I know this because the rack of discount items by the door is always filled with the ripest items-already marked half price because obviously the potential of smelling a ripe fruit is grounds for composting. This is especially true with bananas, one of the touchiest fruits known. The acceptable bananas leer their green little smiles at me every time I go in, and if you're like me, and don't plan your cooking projects, there's no time to buy emerald bananas and wait for them to mature.

Point being, Eve struck gold last week and found a bag of about 15 bananas, perfectly ripe and only one or two with a hints of brown spots on the stems, for just over 3 francs. That's called 'a score,' for those of you uninitiated into my mom's shopping world. Anyway, when life hands you bananas, make banana cake. I made two, and it felt good. Real good.

For all you gluten-boycotters, I am very sad to say that one was NOT gluten-free...probably the first gluten-containing product I have made in 2 years. But I made it for the folks at B. Yoga to enjoy, and it seems needless to deal with gluten-free baking for people who mostly don't care...well, I still felt guilty measuring up wheat flour, like a shadow from the past was lurking around the corners of the mixing bowl, but I stayed strong, and the cake was rumored to be good, so you can make it for someone you love but has unfairly strong digestion, or you can just modify that little puppy and see what's what.

The base recipe was for Tried and True Banana Bread from Savvy Vegetarian. I used half spelt, half wheat flour, powdered egg replacer instead of the cornstarch mixture, and margarine instead of oil (unusual, but I had it). I also hucked in the last of the dried bananas, chopped up into rounds. I didn't bother taking a picture, because who cares, it has gluten anyway. Grin...

The other, the edible one, is essentially Karina's Sweet Banana Polenta Cake, from the always fabulous Karina's Kitchen Blog, with just a smidge of Erinization:

I did egg-free, with egg replacer for somewhere around 2 eggs,
random leftover soy creamer for the milk,
margarine for oil,
vanilla bean instead of extract,
an added grated apple because...I can,
and my sugar was actually a blend of 1 tbsp molasses, 2 tbsp agave, and 2 tbsp sugar beet syrup.

I also chopped up a banana and stirred it in to get nice melted banana chunks in the finished cake, which was so good I think I should triple the amount of chopped banana next time-and you should too.


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