Brown Butter Banana Cake

I had hoped to get this post up sooner but it’s been a busy day.  Shane and I have been celebrating my birthday!  I always forget how much fun birthdays are and this has been an especially good one :)  The day’s not over yet though so I’m going to keep this short and get back to the fun!

Brown Butter Banana Cake

I will be making a more elaborate layer cake to celebrate (and I’ll post that next week) but for today I went simple with this brown butter banana cake.  I really like the combination of bananas and chocolate and ever since using brown butter to make chocolate chip cookies, I’ve been eager to find another recipe that called for it.  The brown butter was subtle here but I think it improved the flavor of the cake and imparted just a bit of nuttiness.  The cake is incredibly moist and quite delicious!  Although the recipe called for mini chocolate chips, I didn’t have any so I substituted regular chips.  Most of my chips sunk to the bottom of the cake as it baked (so they were actually on the top once it was flipped out).  The batter is pretty thin so I suspect I would have had better luck with the lighter mini chips as opposed to the heavy full size ones.

Brown Butter Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips
from Fine Cooking Chocolate! (also available here)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup finely mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
7 1/2 oz (1 2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter and flour a 10-cup tube or bundt pan.  (I sprayed my pan well with cooking spray with flour and had no problems getting the cake out.)

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Once the butter is melted, cook it slowly, letting it bubble, until it smells nutty or like butterscotch and turns a deep golden hue, 5 to 10 minutes. If the butter splatters, reduce the heat to low. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the browned butter through a fine sieve into a medium bowl and discard the bits in the sieve.  Let the butter cool until it’s very warm rather than boiling hot, 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a whisk, stir the sugar and eggs into the butter. (Since the butter is quite warm, you can use cold eggs for this.) Whisk until the mixture is smooth (the sugar may still be somewhat grainy), 30 to 60 seconds. Whisk in the mashed bananas, vanilla, and salt. Sift the flour and baking soda directly onto the batter. Pour the chocolate chips over the flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold just until the dry ingredients and the chips are combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the rubber spatula. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, 42 to 45 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes then invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Let cool until just warm and then serve immediately or wrap well in plastic and store at room temperature for up to five days.