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A dream come true!

September 6, 2011

I never realized bananas were such a hated fruit.  Some people apparently don’t like the texture, others just dislike anything banana flavored.  I’ve spent my 28 years in a banana-naivete apparently.

I was making a surprise cake for my neighbor and all I knew was she likes chocolate cake.  Since it was summer, I just could not bring myself to put chocolate frosting on an already rich chocolate cake… it just seemed too much!  (Stop giving me that look.  I know, I know, most people don’t care if it’s 100 degrees – it’s never too hot for chocolate!  But I just can’t get on board with that.)

So it occured to me… what about banana buttercream?  Kind of like a chocolate covered banana.  Or maybe some Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey…summer, ice cream.  Logical connection, right?  It sounded like a different, but delicious, combination.

Then I did the worst thing a baker or cook can do.  I posted it to the nation of Facebook and within 5 minutes got an alarming number of responses to the tune of people not liking bananas!

I didn’t know if my neighbor liked bananas.  I can assure you I wracked my brain for days trying to recall ever seeing her eat a banana.  (It’s not often I see my neighbors eat, period, let alone enough that I’d know anyone’s fruit-preferences!  Short of digging through their trash bin, which I thought might be taking it a bit too far, I couldn’t come up with a way to casually bring up fruit in a conversation.)

I eventually wound up making something entirely different for her cake to avoid the banana issue!

Of course, that did not end the banana issue entirely.  Noooooo, the banana debate continued.

You see, I kind of make birthday cakes for my co-workers… unofficially.  We do this semi-secretive dance behind the birthday girl’s back to plan a “food day” or “snack day” and now I generally get the response of “My cake won’t be as good as yours…why don’t you make it?”

(FYI: I do not discriminate when it comes to cake.  While I personally do a lot “from scratch”, that doesn’t mean I won’t inhale a store-bought, super sugary delight from Festival or even Walmart just as quickly as something homemade.  I am, in fact, the person who usually aims for the corner piece and can be found licking the frosting from my paper plate afterward.  Hi, I’m Paula… I’m a cake-aholic.)

So… as the last of 2011’s birthdays rolled around, I knew I wanted something different.  I was already making a chocolate cake for another co-worker and when I ran across Jessica’s blog post about Banana Dream Cake, it fit perfectly.

These events happened fairly parallel to one another – the neighbor’s cake and the co-workers’ birthday cakes.  So as I was sorting through the cobwebs of my brain to remember if I’d ever seen a banana peel hanging out of my neighbor’s trash bin & trying to recall any fruit allegiance being sworn, I realized my co-worker may also be of the banana-hating camp.

Sheer Cheesehead-panic.  If I had been driving Mr. Cheesehead up the wall before, I think he was ready to drive right out of town!

After much discussion with my dear baking friend Kat (who constantly saves my sanity for listening to me ramble about cake, filling, and frosting!) and Mr. Cheesehead talking me off the cake-ledge, I found another cake.  I was super excited to make an Orange Dreamsicle cake.  (In fact, Kat and I actually talked about it so much that she actually went for it!  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3!)

Until the week before co-worker’s birthday, she and I were talking and I mentioned the Facebook banana debate…and she weighed in on the debate.  In favor of banana.  In fact, her mom used to make a banana cake with cream cheese frosting.  (If that doesn’t send bells ringing in your head, you need to skip ahead and follow the link to Jessica’s blog!)

Immediately, I knew what I had to do.

Scratch the Orange Dreamsicle cake.

And it was totally worth it.  This is right up there as one of my favorite all-time cakes I’ve made.  It was as delicious as Jessica says it is.

(I will point out that I have the worst luck with cream cheese frosting and used more powdered sugar than was called for in Jessica’s recipe.  I believe I also made 1 1/2 times the frosting recipe because Jessica’s pictures had so little frosting and I knew I’d need some for decorating.  Big mistake.  I had so much frosting leftover!  Oh, we should all have such problems!! LOL)

Definitely check out this delicious Banana Dream Cake!  I kind of scoffed at it being called “dream cake” but it really is a cakey delicious dream!

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