Yesterday at this time, I was bustling in my kitchen preparing one of my dear friend, Kanzen’s recipes. Kanzen calls it the Easy Peasy Banana Pudding Cake….
Psst, hit that link and wish Kanzen and her husband a happy 14th wedding anniversary!
Well, as you do… I needed to improvise with what I had on hand. Kanzen was kind enough to advise on substitutions to lower the calories. Yeah, right, that is just what I want to do. Pheph! My interests as a chemist tilt in the opposite direction – the more calories, the more joy and satisfaction I take in the concoction. Those of you who read me know I’ve been trying to gain weight without much success – up an ounce, down two. I’ve been at 78 lbs. since June when I surrendered and bought myself my first weight scale and drove myself mad jumping on it every hour on the hour. That grew old fast. Now, I weigh myself every morning after my first morning cup of coffee while in my pajamas. Here’s the thing: my scale insists in big bold letters that if the scale is moved, you must reset it, which you do by stepping on it – it flashes a weight, usually a couple of pounds higher than my actual weight. Step off, the system shuts down. Step back on and this time, you get an accurate read. Well, I had to hide the scale under the couch because it was making me insane and I couldn’t pass it without stepping on it, thus, I have to pull it out from under the couch each morning, settle it on the kitchen floor and do the stepping on and off thang.
Due to my improvisation, this recipe had three stages for me. First, make the package cake – easy peasy. I chose yellow cake and made it in a 9 x 13 pan. Done and done. Set aside to cool.
Stage 2 – make the pudding per instructions on the box. Called for two boxes of banana pudding using a total of four glasses of milk. Couple of setbacks here. No banana pudding on hand…. easy fix, one package of vanilla and one package of custard. Not enough milk – I’ve been drinking cartons of it, but I did have a quart of half and half on hand…. Done and done. Have you ever tried to stir constantly on medium heat until the liquid comes to a full boil? Takes F O R E V E R !!! While stirring constantly, okay… I snuck away for a minute (turned my back on the pudding) and poked holes in the cake with a wooden spoon handle – seemed to breaking natural laws to mar a perfectly good cake, but turned out to be kinda fun. Next time, I’m going for even bigger holes (note to self). No harm to the pudding when I turned back – takes forever, remember? Finally came to a boil – pour over the cake immediately. Astounding how fast that stuff sets even when hot. Had to use pot holders when moving the cake pan around, it sucked up the heat.
Quick, peel and cut up 2 1/2 bananas – I did three – in for an ounce, in for a pound, remember? Toss ’em with some lemon juice – adds flavor and works to keep them from turning brown. Place the pieces all over the cake, on top of the pudding soaked cake. Done and done!
Stage 3 – well… I didn’t have any cool whip on hand, so I made my own whip cream – Devonshire Whip Cream to be precise… Danger, Danger, Danger – do not read further unless you want a taste of the divine…. Take a pint of heavy whipping cream and beat it with a mixer. Note: you would probably be patient enough to stay on low speed, which one should do… I hit the medium speed after about 15 seconds and cleaned the side of the refrigerator afterwards. As the whip cream becomes a reality, becoming stiffy – nice caps like on a sweeping wave – start adding some confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) and squeezing in some fresh lemon juice – there is no measurement for this – it is determined by your taste buds, so pause and taste as you go, keep that little mixer beating, adding more as you go of the sugar and lemon. Doesn’t take long at all. Here’s where I hit the wall….
The recipe calls for spreading the whip cream on top of the banana pudding cake before refrigerating it for an hour… my cake pan was still radiating heat and, having just made my own whip cream, I didn’t want it to melt… I shoved the cake on the top shelf of the refrigerator, nudging and moving stuff shelf to shelf, and the bowl whip cream was gently placed on a lower shelf – big bowl, very little room. Now, walk away and let it all chill for about an hour. Hard to do, but I did it. Done and done!
I ate it for dinner. I know, I know… some people would have dinner and then eat it. Why? Life is short, guys! I carved the cake into eight large pieces, scooped out one piece – tough, mind you, kind of split into two on the way out of the pan. Filled up a deep dish bowl and topped it with
dollops (giggle) mountains of whip cream. I ate the whole thing. Mind, I had to pause halfway thru – this is a dish that will anchor you to this planet, but I was soon back at the trough bowl and didn’t stop until it was empty. Verdict: H E A V E N
Got on the scale this a.m. – 80.4 lbs – HAPPY DANCE TIME – I gained six ounces. Yes!, Yes!, Yes! (Mind, Kanzen says you have to eat the entire cake in 24 hours – sorry, kid, that ain’t happening, but I’m going for another bowl tonight, and then another bowl and another and… well, you get the idea. Grin. Want some?