My friend’s daughter is in love with Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding. She inspired me to peek at the recipe in their cookbook and to try this unique, upgraded version. The book declared that this is actually the “ultimate version.” 🙂
The recipe was adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Handbook- A Complete Guide for the Home Baker: Baking Made Easy with 150 Foolproof Recipes & Techniques by Bobbie Lloyd. I used red gel food coloring and modified the method. I also layered the dessert in various individual glass serving bowls. Fun. We love red velvet anything so this was very well received! I’m not sure that it even needed the bananas. 😉
This “ultimate version” requires advanced planning. I made the cake a day in advance. I would also recommend making the pudding base a day in advance! Next time. 😉 Once the dessert has been layered, it is refrigerated another 4 hours to overnight prior to serving.
Yield: Serves up to 16 (4 to 5 quarts)
For the Red Velvet Cake:
383g/13.5oz (3 1/3 cups) cake flour
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup or 170g/6oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g/16oz (2 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
1 scant tsp red gel food coloring (or 6 T liquid red food coloring)
3 T (22.5g/0.75oz) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 (8oz) package full-fat cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
3 cups (720g/25.5oz) heavy cream
4 to 5 ripe, firm bananas, sliced
160g (1 cup plus 1 T or 5.6oz) mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, preferably on convection. Butter a 9×13-inch metal baking pan; line with parchment paper and butter and flour the parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.
Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Add the red food coloring and sifted cocoa powder to the mixer bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, carefully mix until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the vanilla and buttermilk.
Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. After each addition, be careful to mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not ovemix. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda.
With the mixer on low speed, carefully add the cider vinegar and baking soda mixture to the batter and combine well. Scrape down the bowl.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 47 minutes.)
Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. (The cake can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days.)
To Make the Pudding:
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the condensed milk and water on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
Add the pudding mix and beat until no lumps remain and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Put the room temperature cream cheese pieces in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Beat until smooth.
Add the chilled pudding to the to the cream cheese and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate while you prepare the whipped cream. Clean the stand mixer bowl and whisk.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 1 minute; until cream starts to thicken, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. (be careful not to over whip)
With the mixer running on low speed, add the chilled pudding mixture a spoonful at a a time. Mix until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
Cut the cake into a 4×2-inch grid. (8 rectangular pieces) If preparing the dessert in individual servings, divide the cake into 16 pieces. Set aside.
Select 16 individual serving bowls (or a trifle bowl or wide glass bowl with 4-5 quart capacity). (I used a variety of glasses and glass dessert dishes.)
Spread 1/3 of the pudding on the bottom and layer with enough slices of the red velvet cake to cover the layer. (I used about 1/2 (slightly less) of each rationed slice of the cake, reserving crumbs for the top.)
Add 1/2 of the sliced bananas (enough to cover the cake pieces) and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips. (I used 1 tsp of chocolate chips per layer in each serving.)
Repeat twice more. The second layer will be identical; the final layer will be pudding topped with a cake crumbs instead of pieces, and chocolate chips without (or with, if desired) banana slices.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.
I made this incredibly moist sponge cake for dessert after our Cinco de Mayo feast this year. It would be perfect served after any Mexican-inspired meal.
The recipe was adapted from my food blog friend Ronit Penso’s Tasty Eats blog, originally posted as a round cake on MySliceofMexico.ca. I modified the method and the baking time for a convection oven, used sea salt and a combination of vanilla bean paste and extract, and modified the amount of topping.
Although I reduced the amount of topping, we found that it was absolutely essential. I also thought that the fresh strawberry garnish made it even more beautiful and delicious. Festive and great.
For the Cake:
cooking oil spray, for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
7 large or extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
For the Syrup:
1 can (12 fl oz/354 ml) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz/396grms) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Topping:
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). (I used the convection setting.)
Coat the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” (23×33 cm) metal baking pan, and dust with a bit of flour. Turn the pan upside down and tap on it, to get rid of excess flour. Set aside.
Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix the milk with the vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Start whipping on low speed and gradually add the sugar.
Once the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium-high, and whip until frothy and thick, about 3 minutes.
Lower the speed to medium. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the liquid ingredients (milk/vanilla), in three batches, and beat shortly, about 10 seconds, after each addition. You should have a smooth and frothy batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes on convection, or up to 35 minutes in a standard oven, until the cake is deep golden in color and if you gently press on the top it springs right back. The sides should also begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. (I baked mine for 27 minutes on convection.)
Place on a wire rack to cool slightly while you prepare the syrup.
In a bowl with a spout, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.
Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick or fork.
Pour the syrup over the top of the cake. Keep at room temperature until all of the syrup is absorbed.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. (I chilled mine overnight.)
Just before serving, make the topping. In a large cold bowl, combine the cold heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.
Whip with a hand blender on medium-high to high speed, until firm peaks form, or as desired. (I stopped whipping the cream somewhere between soft and firm peaks.)
To Serve: Slice cake and top each slice with a dollop of topping and a sliced strawberry.
Caramel corn ice cream? Yes! Sweet summer corn is puréed, strained, and cooked down into a sweet pudding before it is incorporated into the ice cream base. The caramel drizzle was an essential finishing touch.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Jesse Houston. The original recipe was “no churn” but I did churn it to expedite the freezing process.
After using a Vitamix to purée the corn and significantly increasing the cooking time, I had double the volume of corn pudding required for the ice cream. I’m planning to use it for another batch. 🙂 I may layer it with caramel or dulce de leche prior to freezing next time so that it will have a caramel swirl.
Yield: about 8 cups (2 quarts)
10 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (from 10-12 large ears) (reduce to 5 ears if using a Vitamix)
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
waffle cones or waffle cups, optional
dulce de leche or caramel sauce, optional
caramel corn, for garnish, optional
Working in batches, process corn kernels in a food processor or Vitamix until very juicy, about 15 seconds. Press processed corn through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl to yield about 2 cups corn juice; discard solids. (I had significantly more corn juice.)
Transfer corn juice to a large skillet; bring to a simmer over medium-low, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened to a pudding-like consistency and reduced to about 1 cup, 8 to 12 minutes. (When the spatula is dragged through the corn mixture, it will hold a line for about 2 seconds before flowing to fill the gap.) (Because I had a greater volume, I cooked my corn juice for almost 40 minutes to achieve the pudding-like consistency.)
Remove from heat. Press corn mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl; discard any solids. Let corn mixture cool to room temperature, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
Beat cream, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
Fold into corn mixture in 2 additions. (I used 1 1/4 cups of corn pudding.)
If desired, churn in an ice cream machine for about 25 minutes. (not necessary but will reduce the freezing time.)
Pour into a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan; press a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface of corn mixture.
Freeze until firm, at least 12 hours if not churned, or at least 4 hours if the mixture has been churned.
Serve scoops of sweet corn ice cream in bowls or waffle bowls/cones, drizzled with dulce de leche or caramel sauce, and garnished with caramel corn, as desired.
Note: Ice cream can be made and frozen up 2 weeks ahead.
I have a few bar desserts to share. Great for a crowd, party or pot luck event. I have made all of these desserts on more than one occasion! Quite an endorsement. 🙂
These tart, tangy, and sweet bars were fabulous- the crust was absolute perfection. I made them off-season and used bottled Key lime juice. They are a must try with fresh Key lime juice! Fresh Key lime slices would also be a lovely garnish.
This recipe was adapted from the Key lime pie from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, via Martha Stewart Living.
Yield: 16 bars
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs (8 full cracker sheets)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 1 1/2 tsp)
2/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice (about 23 Key limes total)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream, for garnish, optional
2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons, for garnish, optional
confectioner’s sugar, for garnish, optional
Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Line a 8-inch square, or equivalent, baking dish with parchment paper, letting it hang over 2 sides.
Using a food processor, pulse graham crackers into fine crumbs.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of the prepared baking dish. (I used the bottom of a dry measuring cup.)
Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)
Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.
Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula.
Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars.
Put cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Garnish bars with confectioner’s sugar, whipped cream, and/or a slice of lime, as desired.
Note: The bars will keep, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
A while ago, my son read a book that mentioned flan and he really wanted to make it. We actually made it together at that time. 🙂 It really is quite simple to prepare, and he felt like he had achieved a great accomplishment when it came out well. He’s been asking to have it again ever since!
I think that it is particularly delicious served with strawberries. This recipe is a blend of multiple flan recipes- including one from my grandmother.
Yield: One 8-inch flan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
5 large eggs
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (low fat can be substituted)
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 T pure vanilla extract
pinch of coarse salt
strawberries, for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, preferably on convection.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, occasionally swirling, until amber, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour into a 1 1/2 to 2 qt (8-in) ceramicbaking dish or 8-in cake pan, tilting to cover the bottom surface and halfway up the sides of the dish.
Place the prepared dish on a dish towel or a silicone pot holder (to prevent it from shifting) inside a roasting pan. (I used an enameled cast iron lasagna pan.)
Place the eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt in a Vitamix. Blend for 20 seconds. (Alternatively, mixture can be whisked in a bowl until combined.)
Pour through a fine strainer into the prepared pan.
Slide the oven rack out and place the roasting pan on the hot rack.
Fill the outside of the pan with HOT water halfway up the sides of the flan dish.
Bake for 60-70+ minutes, or until the center is wobbly.
Remove from the oven; let cool to room temperature.
Remove flan from the water bath. Cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Dip the bottom of the dish in warm water, then invert onto a rimmed platter. Serve.