For some, all they see are sad old bananas. For me, I see a delicious banana cake in the making:
In the book Dorie shares that this cake can be baked in a variety of shapes and sizes. I've previously made this recipe into a layer cake and cupcakes, and they turned out perfectly in each case. I wanted to try a different pan, so I dug into my cabinet of "I'll use them once every 5 years" baking pans:
So, what did I find? Mini loaf pan...perfect! I haven't used this pan since 2002.
Dorie share a number of suggestions to play with the ingredients in the cake (thus the "Lot's of Ways" in the recipe title). As I had all of the ingredients readily on hand, I didn't veer off course from the original recipe. I made half the recipe, which yielded me 8 mini-loaves. I also reduced the oven temperature to 325F degrees and baked the cakes for 18 minutes (I think the dark loaf pan expedited the baking time).
To dress up these little loaves, I topped them with some Mascarpone Frosting leftover from another cake I was working on.
This cake is DEEELISH! The cake is beautifully moist and tender, and it does not have that dense, gummy texture that I get with other banana cake recipes. The banana flavor definitely shines, and the toasted coconut gives the cake a nice chew (for those of you who hate coconut, you can easily omit it). The mascarpone frosting's light creamy texture is the perfect complement as it doesn't overwhelm the cake.