Banana seems to be an ingredient that is overlooked in cakes too often. You typically find bananas mostly in breads, muffins and pies. It’s such a great fruit to have year round and has so many dessert possibilities. While planning my Easter menu this year, I find that the dessert is where I like to focus all of my attention. Ok, actually let’s be honest-it’s where I always put my focus. But I realized it doesn’t always have to be elaborate. Sometimes it’s ok to have a simple dessert, as long as it stands out in flavor. I came across this Banana Chiffon cake recipe and knew it was a sure bet for Easter this year.
Chiffon cakes are light and airy, with a delicate crumb. This chiffon cake gets great flavor from just one banana and gets its height from whipped egg whites. The cake is great alone with just a dusting of confectioners sugar but I felt like I wanted to add something more. I wanted to serve something along the side of the cake. I drove myself crazy trying to decide what to serve–totally over-thinking and obsessing about the perfect pairing for my cake. Salted caramel or ganache? Ice cream, pastry cream or whipped cream? All great possibilities but then I remembered that one of my favorite cupcakes that I make is a banana cupcake with nutella frosting. A perfect combination but I didn’t want frosting on the cake because it’s so beautiful as it is. So I had the idea to add a bit of Nutella to my whipped cream recipe. So genius of me 😉
Let’s get this recipe started. You will need a 10 inch tube pan (similar here) for this recipe. Read through the recipe first and pre-heat your oven to 350º. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt. You’ll want the bowl to be quite large because you will be adding the whipped egg whites at the end, to the bowl. In a separate bowl combine mashed banana, canola oil, egg yolks, vanilla paste (I use vanilla paste in this cake so the flecks can show through the cake) or vanilla extract, and the water. Mix these ingredients just until they are combined. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and whisk batter until it is smooth.
In the bowl of an electric mixer add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites 1/3 at a time, into the batter. The batter is quite a large amount when you fold in the egg whites, so make sure that you fold it in completely and be careful not to overmix.
Transfer the batter to a 10-inch ungreased tube pan, or angel food cake pan. Place the pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto its “feet” and let it cool completely (at least one hour). Turn the cake right side up and run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
To make the nutella whipped cream, mix 2 cups of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat either with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, then gradually increase to medium speed. About halfway through add 2 tablespoons of Nutella and continue to beat until nice and fluffy. Serve on the side of the Banana Chiffon cake. Enjoy!