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Banana Cake

This cake was part of Theresa de Soto's legacy as snack goddess at Cloyne Court. I have no idea where she got it, but it's a keeper.

Preheat oven to 375 and grease & flour 2 8-inch cake pans.
2 1/4 C cake flour or 2 C all purpose flour
1 1/4 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C softened butter

1 1/2 C thoroughly mashed ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

The original directions are to beat all the ingredients together at low speed until well mixed, then
beat 5 minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides several times.  

I think the results are a little better if you sift or whisk the dry ingredients together; beat in the softened butter until it is thoroughly mixed; then beat in the bananas, eggs and vanilla.  When it looks smooth, beat on high speed for another 2 minutes before pouring into the pans.

Bake 25 minutes at 375.  It should be golden brown and a tester should emerge clean from the cake.  Let cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Top with sweetened whipped cream and lots of fresh strawberries (a good pint for the full recipe of cake), preferably hulled, sliced, and macerated in a little sugar.

For a more formal presentation, make whipped cream frosting as below, and use strawberry jam or make a simple cornstarch strawberry filling, and decorate the finished cake with rings and rows of strawberries (other berries are lovely too).  You'll need  to refrigerate it from frosting until just before serving if you make the whipped cream frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting

2 C whipping cream
1/4 C powdered sugar
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla

Beat together just until firm enough to spread (a little past soft peaks, but before firm or hard peaks form--you don't want butter).

Quick Strawberry Filling

1/2 pint strawberries
2-3 Tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Rinse, core, and slice the strawberries in half.  Macerate in the sugar for half an hour, or longer if you have the time.  Strain off the liquid that forms and mix carefully with the cornstarch until smooth and lump-free.

In a small saucepan, stir the strawberries and liquid together, using the back of your spoon or spatula to crush the strawberries against the side of the pan.  You need to stir constantly while the cornstarch mixture heats up, so there's plenty of time.  It should come just to a boil and thickens quickly.  When the mixture clears (and a bit licked off  a spoon no longer tastes starchy, remove from heat and let cool before spreading between the cake layers.

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