Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's the shape of my bundt?

Maybe it was the fact that I was obsessed with everything sparkly as a kid or the fact that cute shopping bags get me super excited (hence, my collection under my mattress), but I simply adore things that are presented beautifully, so I guess you can call me a packaging nut. This small obsession trickles down to something as simple as gift wrapping to dear God you will not believe how much I nit-picked things at my wedding. Lately, I love collecting baking pans that turn our everyday cakes and cookies into funny shapes and my favorite go to place is Williams Sonoma. I started off with buying their sand castle bundt pan for a party my sister was hosting and now I find myself giggle with joy every time they come out with a new shape. In the fall I become obsessed with their Pumpkin bundt pan, but this summer there's a whole bunch of new shapes that I am dying to try. You gotta love the cupcake cake:

Or this absolutely adorable Garden Patch Cakelet Pan:

However, I have a feeling that the animal crackers will be a huge hit with my husband:

Now as to what to put in these amazing cake and cookie molds, I'm not quite sure yet however I'm dying to try this Fresh Banana Cake Recipe that I found on The Baking Pan , it looks so simple and so yummy! Here's the recipe:

Fresh Banana Cake
2½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, chilled
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped, optional
Hint: Use very ripe bananas to give your cake a stronger banana flavor.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

2 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 13x9 inch baking pan.Batter:
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; cream together until mixture appears light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add mashed bananas and vanilla, beat until mixed.
4. Alternately add some of the flour mixture, and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until blended. Stir in walnuts (optional).

5. Bake:
Pour batter into baking pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes if using a 13x9 inch pan, or 30 to 35 minutes if using 9 inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place baking pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. If using round cake pans, remove cake from pans and place directly on wire racks to finish cooling. If using a 13x9 inch pan you can leave in the baking pan to finish cooling and cut into squares to serve.
6.Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; beat together until mixture is smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. For 9 inch layers, spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. For a 13x9 inch cake, frost the top.

7. Garnish:
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts on top of frosting if desired. Decorate with fresh banana slices, optional.
8. Cover cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Anyone up for a cupcake shaped banana cake?