March 6, 2011

Banana - Rum Torte

I love cookbooks. I generally tend to borrow them from the library and avoid buying new cookbooks. I don't however mind buying used cookbooks, and sometimes find good ones at the Goodwill store --one of the most unlikely places to find cookbooks :). I once bought a barely-used copy of the Sundays @ Moosewood Restaurant cookbook for 6 dollars! One of my regrets is not buying the entire collection of 20 series of cookbooks for 15dollars at a Salvation Army store when I was a student. And in my odd-collection is a book published in 1976 called the Southern Living - Desserts Cookbook. I really like this  book as it is mostly a collection of recipes sent in by various folk. And they are simple. Most recipes are like 6-7 lines of instruction. For example - a Charlotte cake - one of my favorites - is like 2 pages of instruction by Julia Child. In this book - it is exactly 6 lines. Even complicated desserts look much less intimidating. 

One of the first few recipes I tried from this book is a Banana - Rum Torte. Make two layers of rum cake and an easy filling & you get a party pleaser! Here is how I made it:

Rum Cakes: Sugar - 1 cup; flour - 2 cups; butter - softened 3/4 cup; eggs -3; baking soda - 1 tsp; vanilla infused Rum - 2 tbsp; salt - 1/4 tsp;
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Sift in the baking soda, flour and salt.
  • Stir in the rum and the eggs (one at a time). Mix well.
  • Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Bake at 375F till the cakes are done. 
Making the Torte: Bananas - 3 large; Lime Juice - 1 tbsp; Rum (vanilla) - 3 tbsp; Whipping Cream 1 1/2 cups; sugar 3 tbsp; Instant Coffee -1/2 tsp; Pirouette cookies - pepperidge farm - 8 or more;
  • Peel and slice the bananas - 1/4 inch thick
  • Combine 1 tbsp rum + lime juice and pour over the bananas
  • Beat the whipping cream, sugar, coffee and remaining rum till stiff peaks form.
  • Place cake layers together with half of the whipped cream, and half the banana slices.
  • I also added the syrup from the banana slices on the top layer of the cake before spreading the remaining half of the whipped cream. 
  • Refrigerate for about about 30 minutes.
  • Top with the remaining banana slices; arrange the pirouettes. 
I am not a big fan of frosting on cakes and hence love this whipped cream topping! This cake was very textural and we loved it :)

March 1, 2011

Wish I were...

....Chillin' on the beach

Picture taken on the Marina Beach in July, 2010.
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