What I Made for Dinner

For Dessert: 24 Hours of Darkness Banana Cake

From two great music blogs (I found it at Idolator, who got it from Paper Thin Walls) comes this week's moment of synergy. Follow me here:

A) Last week we had photographer Peter Beste on the show to talk about the Norwegian Black Metal scene he photographed for his book True Norwegian Black Metal. You may remember it from the amazing/terrifying slideshow Win Rosenfeld posted here on Friday.

B) I tried out a recipe for banana cake this weekend, and brought the leftovers in to the BPP office today.

So after today's show, where does the Internet take me? A black metal cooking blog. It's called The Black Oven and features recipes like "frostbitten molasses cookies entombed with ginger," which are described as "Packed full of grim and evil spices, they will leave you feeling despondent and isolated within their stronghold of flavor."

With apologies to the folks at the Black Oven, anyone up for a little 24 Hours of Darkness Banana Cake with Corpse Paint Cream Cheese Frosting?


* 3/4 cup butter
* 2 1/8 cups sugar
* 3 large egg
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 3 cups flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)


1. Preheat oven to 275.
2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Small bowl: mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
4. Medium bowl: mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
5. Large bowl: cream 1 cup butter & 2 1/8 cups sugar till light & fluffy.
6. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
7. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
8. Stir in banana mixture and mix all together.
9. Pour batter into prepared pan & bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (might take longer).

Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes.


* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 package cream cheese (4 oz), softened
* 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1. Cream the butter & cream cheese until smooth.
2. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla.
3. Add icing sugar & beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
4. Spread on cooled cake, and sprinkle with walnuts if you like 'em.



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What exactly is the function of cooling the hot cake in the freezer? I probably couldn't actually follow that step, since all of my large bakers are glass and I would expect unpleasant results.

Sent by allstonian | 1:50 PM | 5-6-2008

you skipped the chocolate in the frosting. why come?

Sent by Candace Ganz | 2:06 PM | 5-6-2008

Although on second thought I suppose it would be appropriately Black Metal for the cake and my freezer contents to end up full of shattered glass fragments.

Sent by allstonian | 2:13 PM | 5-6-2008

Why do you have to take it directly from oven to freezer, and why are we begged in all caps not to skip this step? Does it affect the flavor???

Sent by Jessica | 2:34 PM | 5-6-2008

Mom: I skipped the chocolate in this recipe because I figured plain white frosting would look more like the sticky white face paint that black metal followers use to coat their faces. But also because I like plain cream cheese frosting.

Thanks for the recipe, by the way. Everybody loved the cake.


allstonian: My guess is freezing the cake cools it very quickly, which makes it dense, which helps to keep it moist. Maybe my mom can give you a better explanation, though. Mom?

Sent by Jacob Ganz, NPR | 2:35 PM | 5-6-2008

You freeze cakes so the crumbs are easy to brush off which makes the frosting go on easier. You're not fighting with touching up parts where the crumbs surfaced.

Sent by Sarah Lee | 3:32 PM | 5-6-2008

-Sarah Lee:
That's certainly the explanation of why to freeze layers if you're doing fancy icing on a layer cake, although even in that case you usually cool on a rack and turn the layers out of the pan first. But this cake is frosted on the top with what looks to be a pretty soft icing and served in the pan in which it's baked. Jacob's explanation makes more sense to me in this instance.

Sent by allstonian | 4:04 PM | 5-6-2008

i vote for dense and moist - and in a pan that is safe to go from oven to freezer. we could do a controlled experiment comparing with/without the capitalized step, if you want to. i know many people who would offer to be taste testers.

Sent by Candace Ganz | 4:27 PM | 5-6-2008

omg. jacob's mom wrote in. fun! mrs. ganz - we LOVE jacob. he is conscientious and kind and moral and sometimes makes funny jokes...oh and now i guess we have to add awesome baker.

Sent by rachel | 7:13 PM | 5-6-2008

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