Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

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Dear Jess,

You’re getting married this weekend! It’s so close! Both Jason and I are so excited to celebrate you!

Last weekend Jason and I went to celebrate his cousin’s graduation from the University of Toronto. We had a lovely dinner together and enjoyed catching up. I was asked to bring dessert, so I started to think of what to make. I thought of brownies, cupcakes, cakes, squares… and decided to do a ‘summer theme’ cake. Something not too heavy but something delicious and sweet. Viola! I had bananas!

I got this recipe from a mix of different recipes I saw on the internet. I took what I liked from all of them and baked it. The Cream Cheese icing I also got from the internet.

Banana Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup buttermilk*

1. Preheat panggangan to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan. I used a round one with a hole in the middle) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar adn brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in the bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheat panggangan for 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean) Removef rom oven, and place on a damp tea towel to cool.

*If you don’t have butter milk, simply put one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and then fill with milk until it reaches one cup. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

2. When your cake has fully cooled, spread icing on at desired thickness.

I did a small sprinkling of lemon zest on top for colour. I may add lemon zest to the cake next time. It was quite nice!

I can’t wait to see you this weekend! I am so excited for you and your upcoming wedding and marriage! Let me know if you need anything to be done.

Love,

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Amazon.com Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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