New Baby in the House

October 12, 2008
Innocent one started drinking her bath water.

Innocent one started drinking her bath water.

 

 

     

Baby's first bath.
Baby’s first bath.

This is the new baby in the house. She is so new she doesn’t even have a name yet. She is so cute I can’t even picture a name cute enough for her. She is already pulling on shoestrings of shoes that are bigger than she is.

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The Showdown

August 26, 2008

A dear friend of mine said, “Here, do you want some of this cake?” before I left his house today. I said, “Are you sure?” He assured me that if I did not help him out that it would go to waste. Wellllll, far be it from me to leave a friend high and dry so I brought a chunk home. Cake is nothing but love in sugar form. It spurred a desire in me to go ahead and try something.

I had tried a new recipe last week called “Banana Pudding Cake” where you add a box of banana pudding and mashed banana to the cake mix. It did not turn out well. The recipe said to bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The aroma emanating from the oven was so strong that after 35 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and took it out. I was right; it was done, overdone in fact, and beginning to blacken on the bottom. “Well, there went that recipe,” I thought and scratched it off the drawing board.

My friend’s generosity gave me an idea. I had seen a recipe for an upside-down banana cake. “Well, why not combine the two and see what happens?” I thought. I put slices of banana on the bottom of a cake pan and added brown sugar then drizzled melted butter over the base. I then added the yellow cake mix with the banana pudding and bananas added into the batter. I put it into the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. At the end of 35 minutes the top was browned beautifully but the middle was still fluid. I had to go to a meeting so I told my daughter to keep trying, not to check on it by opening the oven too much but to give it some time and to not worry if I ruined it. I told her that was not that expensive to try and sometimes we have to learn by making mistakes.

When I opened the door to the dining room, she smiled and said, “Mom, your cake came out.” I smiled back and said, “It did?” and it did, beautifully. Baked to a golden brown and flipped over to expose the golden brown sliced arcs of banana baked gently in a buttery brown sugar goodness the cake stood there in the light, the arcs forming little smiles saying, “Yea! I am a new creation and I am going to be good.”

Well, the first thing I did was have a cake-off. Yep, as spontaneous as spontaneous can be. I took the big chunk of pineapple cake that started this whole thing and cut it into three squares, one for each of us. Then I put a piece of banana cake next to the pineapple and took it to my husband. My daughter put a piece of banana on a plate and I put a piece of pineapple next to it while her back was turned and walked off with the plate at the same time she said, “Nooooooooo,” like an adorable Mr. Bill. Whoops, too late. I discovered that was her plate and her banana piece she had cut. She decided she was not going to participate in the cake-off.

So I made that disqualify me from having to serve her and she had to get her own plate then. I had such a hard time deciding which was the better recipe. I still can’t decide so I am going to take this to a picnic I have been invited to on Saturday and let the public decide. Pineapple upside-down cake will always be a classic as far as sugary, brown goodness is concerned, but this new banana-pudding upside-down creation is going to impress many, I believe, and compel people to make room on the table for this new treat.

My daughter said the secret to the cake is to lower the oven’s temperature. Here is the banana-pudding cake recipe. Remember to prepare the pan as if you were making a pineapple upside-down cake only substituting slices of banana for the pineapple before you put in the batter and you will have a new creation: a banana pudding upside-down cake.

Banana Pudding Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant banana pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas
  •  
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, water, oil and mashed banana. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until cake tests done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To make glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and of a drizzling consistency. When cake is cooled, drizzle icing over cake with a zigzag motion. Sprinkle chopped nuts over wet icing if desired.