Monday, December 6, 2010

greek name day

Idle Husband just celebrated his name day last week! How exciting, right? A day just for you to celebrate -- along with everyone else who also shares the same name as you. They're more important than birthdays in Greece, so this year, I thought I'd try to do something special.

I really wanted to make a big beautiful cake and carve it into the shape of the first letter in IH's name.

And then he requested a small cake.

So I started rethinking how I could do something similar but on a smaller scale without it looking like an alphabet block.

So I thought I would try to find alphabet cookie cutters. Then I was excited! I could do a bunch of letters and decorate them all up nicely and he could even take them to work and it would be awesome! Everything would be awesome! But the alphabet cutters I did find, I wasn't happy with and in a related discussion to find out more about what he wanted, I discovered he wanted a banana cake. With bananas. And lots of bananas. And maybe coconut.

Back to the drawing board.

I found a recipe for banana and chocolate chip upside-down cake from David Lebovitz. It had a lot of rave reviews and it was designed to be low fat and marginally healthy (as any cake could possibly be). So I decided to go with that. I chose a cake that could neither be stacked or decorated, but at least it was what Idle Husband wanted. Besides, by this point, I was getting rather tired of coming up with ideas and planning and figuring and plotting. And, quite frankly, last week, I really didn't have the time to do any of the grand things I was coming up with. I don't know where my brain was.

This cake was very easy to put together and I really love recipes that are easy. Instead of mashing the bananas, I used my immersion blender and pureed them which is something I think I'll do from now on any time I need bananas for a recipe. If this makes any sense, I found that the banana was more integrated into the cake. Maybe since it was pureed, it could be better incorporated whereas mashed bananas still retain some chunkiness and can't really flavour a cake entirely. Er, foodie mumbo jumbo, etc. The only thing I did differently (other than using yogurt instead of sour cream) was that I forgot to put in the melted butter. I had the oven on and I was melting the butter on a burner and I completely forgot about it until I mixed everything together and poured it on top of the sliced bananas (as one does). So my version is even lower in fat than the original, but I don't think the butter is missed at all. Why even bother with it?

I made an epic meat and potatoes dinner on Saturday, so we actually never got to taste the cake until Sunday. For some reason, I thought I could stack it and I came up with an idea to decorate it, but neither really went the way they did in my head.

My icing sugar shaker shook out the sugar (that's a lot of Ss) in clumps so I didn't get the effect I really wanted. And because of the caramelization of the bananas on top, it eventually melted away. I've decided I don't fit into the perfect party and desserts category. So what I lack in presentation, I make up with in taste, because this is a really good cake. It's very dense and more like a banana bread cake than fluffy cake, and that's all right.

I remembered about these chocolate letters at least

If you want to learn more about name days or find your name day, you can go here. It may not be listed in your specific form, it might be listed as a different version or spelling, so look carefully because who wouldn't want another day to celebrate?


Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Omg I never knew there was such a thing as a banana upside down cake. I love it! I still think it looks awesome!

PS: I can has a slice?

GALaxy said...

You're far too kind! The cake was definitely delicious, though, you should totally make one!

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