Probably two of the most influential and powerful words in modern culinary nomenclature. I mean honestly, Thomas Keller could microwave a hot pocket and charge a zillion dollars for it, and people would be lined up until next year hoping to get a taste of this precious morsel. His food is flawless. The textures, colors, presentation, and of course taste leave no room for error.
Now I'll stop gushing... but seriously. As I was paging through some of his books the other day I found myself thinking, how do you work for Thomas Keller? I'd have a panic attack just looking at an application for The French Laundry or Bouchon. It would probably somehow burn my finger tips, turn to dust, and get ingested in my body causing me to choke and die. Okay, maybe that's extreme... but seriously. I'd at the very least pass out without a doubt.
What does this all mean? I'm getting there! Have I lost my mind? Partially. I've been snowed in for the last three days. Haven't left my apartment in DAYS. My University closed the entire campus for the last THREE days, for the first time in University history. So honestly, I'm super eager to even feel as though I'm speaking to the "outside" world. I'm just thanking God we never lost power. Being snowed in is one thing, being snowed in with butter is another. I tried to make the best of it.
But yeah, this recipe comes from Claire Clark, the head pastry Chef at Thomas Keller's, The French Laundry.
Her book is called, Indulge, 100 perfect desserts. It's pretty intense skill-wise, but it's definitely something to get ideas and information from. It's beautiful.
I made this delicious and delicate banana cake topped with cream cheese frosting and pecan chips. It calls for dark brown sugar there are beautiful caramel undertones to this cake. I'll be honest, it pains me to make banana anything without adding hazelnut or cinnamon, but who am I to change one of her recipes? If Thomas Keller approves, I'll take his word.
Try it out, let me know what you think!
What you'll need:
•180 g/6 oz. plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
•2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•180 g/6 oz. soft dark brown sugar
•2 medium eggs
•4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
•180 g/ 6 oz. ripe bananas (peeled weight), mashed to a pulp
•50 g/ 1 3/4 pecan nuts
For the frosting:
•65 g/ 2 1/4 oz cream cheese
•190 g/ 6 3/4 oz. powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
•125 g/ 4 1/2 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•50 g/ 1 3/4 oz. pecan nuts, chopped
What you need to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a round 8 inch springform cake tin and line the base with parchment.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
3. Place the sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on medium speed for about a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 4 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
4. Add the sifted flour mixture and the bananas and mix on a low speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the pecan nuts.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 mins, until the top springs back when pressed gently and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan to cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting combine all the ingredients except the pecans in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Finally, dust with powdered sugar.
Bake and enjoy! Stay warm!