Pin me & save for later!
After I returned home from Asia, I became mildly obsessed with baking. It was one of the few things I was actually enjoying and could be motivated to do during the era in which we had buku amounts of unwanted time on our hands…I started making one to two baked goods a week (I stopped at two due to going through more eggs, butter, and flour than I could have ever thought was possible and also, I didn’t want my newest hobby that I was so passionate about to be the reason for an excessive weight gain).
In my baking fervor, I returned to a former favorite cookbook of mine, The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. In years past I made so many great recipes including this poppy seed bread and these cherry squares which are still one of the all-time favorite things I’ve ever made. But the first thing I tried out actually came from Marseilles, a city I was SUPPOSED to get to last November during my time in France but thanks to the country’s passion in canceling trains tout les temps (all the time), I never did. So I guess a cookbook showcasing the city’s culinary highlights is the next best thing, c’est vrai?
A couple of years ago I had a blueberry basil ice cream at the long since shuttered Pittsburgh Public Market (how I miss that place). I was initially leery over trying something sweet that contains basil, a very strong tasting and smelling herb, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how fantastic the inclusion of basil added to the taste of the ice cream. So needless to say when leafing through the pages of Young’s Made in Marseille cookbook, I immediately decided to try the banana basil cake recipe since I adore banana bread (the recipe here is what we in America would call a sweet bread, not what we think of as cake).
As you can see from the scant number of steps listed below, this was super easy to make and was baking away in the oven in no time. I had a small slice right when it was done and it tasted delicious. The baking heat definitely toned down the strong taste of the basil but made it taste very mellow, which I dug. I didn’t end up topping it with anything, it tasted perfect as is. I will note, I never had a slice at room temperature. I think the bread is enhanced when it’s warm so do what I did and pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds for that delectable warm tasting slice.
Banana Basil Cake (Cake a la banane et basilic)
Recipe from Daniel Young’s Made in Marseille
MAKES ONE 9 X 5 BY 3-INCH LOAF, 6 SERVINGS
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs beaten, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.) Place the bananas in a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
2.) In a separate bowl combine the baking soda, sugar, flour, and salt. Add to the banana-egg mixture and mix well. Stir in the basil.
3.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
4.) Dust a buttered 1-quart loaf pan with flour and fill with cake batter. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes.
5.) Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve plain, or topped with sliced bananas, vanilla ice cream, or maple syrup.