Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake.
You might want to cover your ears for this one.
Because since taking a bite, I haven’t stopped shouting every expletive under the sun. Earmuffs!
Gah. This cake. It’s… that good. I just can’t.
I am a total basketcase over it.
That would be some fluffy whipped egg whites folded into batter up there. I was so freaking excited because I actually beat them BY HAND. I think my forearm still hurts. I don’t know why I did it but I thought hey… this might be fun. I’ve never done it the old-fashioned way and well, since I’m incredibly lazy and stuck inside this entitled generation, I should do something that requires work. So I did. And then? Well then I DUMPED THE EGG WHITES DOWN THE DRAIN. Yeah. By accident of course. That was awesome. Not. Actually, first I dumped the tail end of a can of beer in the bowl. THEN… into the sink.
So I ended up using an electric mixer anyway. What a crock.
Now, tres leches. I love love love. Um wait, something I don’t love? That “leches” continues to get auto-corrected to “leeches.” Uhhhh no. Never ever. I would not like to eat a cake of three leeches.
I am nuts over this one though. So much that I made it into cupcakes last year too. For someone who would never choose cake (unless it has the word cheese in front of it) as her drug of choice, you won’t find me turning down a slice of tres leches anytime soon. It’s just so gooey and delicious.
And, since I just can’t let anything in this world BE, I had to try this whole banana twist. I was wary, considering that banana bread is already somewhat gooey and soft (you can see I’m trying hard not to use the m word that ends in “oist”) to begin with. And then with that whole pouring three milks on top… yeah.
My inner skeptic was antsy.
Then… my inner skeptic was thrilled.
Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) brown butter, cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
2/3 cup whole, 2%, soy or almond milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 firm (not too ripe) bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking dish (I used an 8x11 dish) with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another smaller bowl or using your electric mixer or hand-mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine egg yolks and sugars. Beat on medium speed until creamy and combined, then add in vanilla extract and bananas. With the mixer on low speed, add in cooled butter and mix until combined. Add in half of the dry ingredients, then add the 2/3 cups of milk. Finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer base and using a large spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour batter in the greased dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is set in the center and slightly golden. [a 9x9 pan may require a little longer bake time;a 9x13 may require a little less - I would start with 20 minutes.] Remove and let cake cool slightly. You can either leave the cake in the dish to cool, or gently turn it over on a rimmed platter. Let it cool completely, then poke a ton of holes in the top with a fork.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Pour the milk mixture over the cake, letting it seep into the fork holes. Let set for about 45 minutes.
To make the frosting, add the cold whipping cream to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed to combine. Spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake.
To make the caramelized bananas, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and one sizzling, toss in bananas, salt, cinnamon and sugar, tossing well to coat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until bananas are golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve cake with bananas on top or as a garnish. Note: you do want to store this cake in the fridge, but it can get slightly dense because of the bananas. I recommend letting it sit out for 30-60 minutes before serving!
[cake batter adapted from this whole wheat banana snack cake]
Oh and PS: apparently that’s what happens when you put hot caramelized bananas on fresh whipped cream. Stuff melts.