Banana has many variations: figs, green figs and plantains—the list goes on!. Whichever you can get your hands on, you’re sure to get a delicious and versatile fruit. Botanically, a berry, bananas are famous for being high in potassium however, they’re actually a better source for vitamin B6 and C. Banana’s old scientific name is musa sapientum which translates into “fruit of the wise men”. With that many vitamins in a sweet-pudding like fruit, no wonder it was the wise man's fruit! Grown all over the world, bananas are used as a lot more than just fruit. Countries in Southeast Asia often make banana fritters, pancakes and even salads out of the fruit. The following recipes use different types of bananas in ways a little more interesting than just peeling back and munching on it, though there's nothing wrong with that either!
SILK FIG HUMMINGBIRD CAKE
Originally from Jamaica and named after the country’s national bird this cake is traditionally made with pineapple and bananas and finished off with a cream cheese frosting. We’ve put a local twist and substituted silk figs which are mellower in taste but still supremely creamy and yummy. Move over carrot cake, you’re about to get some tropical competition.
Yields: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⅓ cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1¾ cups mashed ripe silk figs
2 cups toasted chopped pecans (optional)
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
5 cups powdered or confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
2 In a medium bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3 In a large bowl mix sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and figs until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and pineapple. Mix until well combined.
4 Divide the batter between the baking pans equally. Bake at 350°F for 28 to 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5 Allow cake layers to cool while the frosting is prepared. In a mixing bowl, add softened butter and cream cheese. Beat using a hand mixer or whisk until light and smooth.
6 Add powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth.
7 Spoon a dollop of frosting in the middle of a cake board or flat plate. This prevents the cake from sliding. Place the first cake layer on the board or plate and top with frosting, leaving a little room on the ends for the frosting to spread when the final layer of cake is placed.
8 Top with the final layer of cake. Frost only the top or, the entire cake. Sprinkle with toasted nuts, serve and enjoy!
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