With lockdown restrictions lifting here, I feel like the whole banana bread craze has come and gone. Not sure if that has to do with it not being so trendy anymore, or perhaps everyone’s just tired of cooking and baking for themselves (I resonate, wholeheartedly). I’d been watching through Emma’s Goodies, a new favorite Youtube Channel of mine when I saw that she had posted a recipe for a Banana Custard Cake. I’d probably made banana bread at least six times this lockdown, so I was interested to see a different take on the Quarantine Queen. Emma’s desserts always look so incredibly delicious and polished that I really wanted to try it and see if she’d struck gold with this combo.
The recipe starts off with making the custard. Now I’ve made custard several times before and was happy to see that Emma’s recipe wasn’t too different from what I was used to. She whisks together the sugar, cornstarch and salt before adding in the milk. Next comes the beaten eggs after which the mix is cooked until thick. If you’re not familiar with this, some bakers would call it the “lazy way” of making custard as it’s traditionally done by tempering the eggs which involve a lot of transferring to bowls and back to pots- it’s a bit of a pain, really. This method always worked with me, so I was happy that her recipe produced a custard that was nice and thick. That was then transferred to a bowl and covered to prevent a skin. Emma notes it’s important to let the custard chill for at least an hour to really thicken. Next comes the cake portion which is a pretty standard spongecake recipe- minus some of the fat. Egg yolks, milk and vanilla are stirred together before adding in the pureed banana. Emma promises a subtle banana flavor which I feel would pair nicely with the sweet custard. After that, the dry ingredients are mixed in. You then fold in some meringue to lighten up the mix before it’s transferred to the prepared pan and baked for about 25 minutes. Once the cake has cooled completely, whisk the custard until smooth before pouring it all over the top. I used an offset spatula to get it all the way to the edges and smoothed it over with a bench scraper to get that perfect top.
Let me tell you, this cake is amazing. The spongecake has a really nice and light banana flavor that’s not overpowered with brown sugar like traditional banana bread is. I didn’t even notice the lack of fat in the cake batter as the banana puree and custard topping bring so much to the table. The custard is sweet and silky- everything you want in a topping. I found myself licking the spatula and any remaining spots during the clean up because it was so delicious. It may give my own custard recipe a run for its money. Emma works up a great presentation by getting a smooth top and cutting off the edges to reveal a perfectly square and Instagram worthy cake. Really, it’s all for show, but I was impressed at how clean it looked. The “scraps” were just as delicious, so whether you want to go through the trouble of all that is up to you. Personally, I could see this being baked and served in the original pan with the custard simply smoothed all over the top. If taking out a few steps will have you making this cake, then do it, because it’s too delicious to not try for yourself.
Full Recipe | Method from Emma’s Goodies: