bananabunchWhat do you do when you have so many bananas you don’t know what to do with them? This big stalk is only one of many that are ripening this month on our property in Boquete, Panama.  Our guests can only eat 8 or 10 bananas per day and everyone who comes to visit gets a bunch for their parting gift. There are over 100 bananas on this one stalk alone.  Banana Daiquiris are good, but how many can we drink?

bananacake2Maybe making a Banana Cake with a Channel of Walnuts would be a good use for some of our bananas.  My favorite cookbook is written by New Zealand cook, Alison Holst, “The Ultimate Collection”.  Alison always has creative ideas for using fresh fruits and she has a couple of banana recipes that look really good.  Her banana cake recipe is perfect for using up my bananas, and I’ll add a walnut-filled channel to it, kind of like the Panama Canal.

This is how I made it:

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and line a ring-shaped cake pan with baking paper or spray with Pam.
Process in your food processor until smooth:
4 ripe bananas
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk in a separate bowl:
1 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Chop 1 cup walnuts or pecans.

Add the flour mixture to your processor and pulse until barely combined. It’s OK if not fully blended, because you can stir it a bit as you fill your prepared ring pan. Using a large spoon, press the middle of the batter to make a dent and while holding the spoon down in the batter, fill the dent with nuts. Continue dragging the spoon around the ring and filling the indentation with nuts as you go. The nuts fill a channel inside the cake and become the surprising highlight of your cake after it’s baked.  Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool and invert on a lovely cake plate, dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve to your delighted guests.

Now - - let’s get back to the Banana Daiquiris, we still have lots of bananas leftover.BananaDaiquiri_L

To make the perfect daiquiri, use your drink blender.
Blend 1 cup crushed ice
2 shots favorite rum
1 shot lime juice
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
1 peeled banana
Blend 10 seconds and serve in a champagne glass and top with a cherry!
Keep those bananas coming!