Cake Fit for the King (AKA Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Candied Bacon)

Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Candied Bacon

  • Servings: 2-layer cake
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

    Cake
  • 5 bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups icing sugar
  • 3-5 Tbsps milk
  • Candied Bacon
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions

Cake Prepare two 9″ round cake tins and preheat oven to 325ºF/165ºC. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, nutmeg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine until just mixed (don’t over-mix). Split between two two cake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool and remove from tins. Frosting Whip butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix in icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Add milk and whip until fluffy and smooth. Candied Bacon Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. Lay bacon out onto wire rack. Sprinkle bacon generously with half the sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out, flip the bacon slices, sprinkle with the remaining sugar, bake for 10-15 minutes or until bacon starts to brown and the sugar has melted and caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Assemble cake by icing the cake with the frosting. Top with the candied bacon. Serve.

And now for the details…

With a bunch of ripe bananas that needed something done with them, and having reached my fill of banana muffins and loaves, I figured I needed to do something different. But I’d made a banana layer cake a few months ago with cream cheese icing and figured that was a little too… predictable. So when thinking of what goes well with banana, my mind immediately went to peanut butter! Which then got me thinking of the story I’d heard about Elvis Presley’s favourite sandwich: peanut butter, banana and bacon. Why not add candied bacon to this mix? And thus: the Cake Fit for The King was born.

I was originally going to call it the Elvis, and then after doing some quick eu-Googling, I found out there already is a cake named after Elvis, since it was a favourite of his. It involves yellow cake mix, crushed pineapple, cream cheese and a whole lotta sugar. It sounds horrible for you and pretty damned delicious, so it probably needs to be made at some point… but for now, here we are with the banana cake with PB frosting and candied bacon!

Lets start by making our cake. First step that I almost always forget about and delays my process almost always is letting the butter come to room temperature. I enjoy baking, but I don’t bake that often, and somehow I manage to miss this step every time… Ah well, I get it eventually. Make sure that butter has stayed out of the fridge at least overnight so it’s nice an pliable for making our batter.

Before we move on, preheat your oven to 325ºF/165ºC. Next, we start our cake batter by creaming the butter with our sugar until the mixture is fully mixed, and light and fluffy. Next, add your eggs, one at a time, mixing the previous in completely before adding the next. Finally, mix in the mashed bananas and vanilla. This is our “wet” mixture.

Next, we mix together our dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. I sifted everything together into the bowl, and then gave it a quick mix with a whisk.

Now it’s time to bring them together. Make a little well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into that well. Stir to combine until just mixed; try to avoid over-mixing. Then split the batter evenly between two prepared 9″ round cake tins. Like I said in my Lemon Bumbleberry Cake recipe, I learned to prepare the tins by buttering the tin, then laying a cut piece of waxed or parchment paper at the bottom of the tin, but you do you, and prepare the tins however you feel comfortable.

Next, of course, is to bake those cakes! Place the cakes into your preheated oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops have turned golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool and remove them from their tins (don’t forget to peel off the waxed or parchment paper if you used it!)

While the cakes are cooling, lets make that candied bacon! Increase the temperature of the oven to 375ºC/190ºC. Lay the bacon out on a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the bacon with half of the brown sugar, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Once ten minutes is up, remove the bacon from the oven, turn the pieces over, and sprinkle the other sides with the remaining brown sugar, and place back in the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bacon has caramelized and become crispy on the edges. Let them cool, then chop into little pieces.

Once the cakes have cooled, it’s time to ice the cake! We’re making that peanut butter frosting next. Start by whipping the butter until its light and fluffy. Then, add your peanut butter and whip the two together until fully mixed and so fluffy you’re gonna die. Next, add the icing sugar in gradually, about 1 cup at a time, mixing the sugar in almost completely until you add the next cup. At this point, the icing will probably be a bit on the dry side. Add the milk to the mix, starting with 3 tablespoons. If you’re using unsalted butter, add a couple pinches of salt to the mix, and the vanilla. Whip these ingredients into the icing, and if you find the icing is still a bit too stiff, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you have your desired consistency. As far as what peanut butter to use, I will leave that up to you. I used a natural, crunchy peanut butter, because I wanted the little bites of peanuts.

Finally, let’s assemble that cake! Place your cake on your serving dish, flat side down. If you want to get fancy, you could slice the puffed part off your cake to make it nice and flat, but to be honest, I’m a little lazy (not mention, what do you do with the cut piece of cake??) and leave the cutting part out and just assemble the cakes as-is. Put the frosting on top of the first layer, sprinkle with about half of the bacon pieces, then place the second layer down, flat-side-up. Because I didn’t cut off the puffed piece, you’ll need to use a little extra icing to fill the edges between the two layers, but are we really going to complain about a little extra icing? I sure won’t. Finish frosting the entire cake, and sprinkle with the candied bacon piece on top. Then it’s time to cut and serve!

Happy eating.

BSTH Sandwich (Bacon, Spinach, Tomato and Honey)

BSTH Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, or 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsps mayonnaise
  • 8-12 leaves spinach

Directions


Cook bacon in a large pan to desired level of doneness. Set aside and drain most bacon fat. Keep some fat in pan and toast the bread in the pan. Put mayo on two of the slices. Place spinach and tomatoes. Drizzle with honey. Top with other slice of bread. Serve.

And now for the details…

Okay, so yes, this a pretty simple recipe. But… well… it was delicious. And… I have limited resources to work with 😛

We’re into day four of quarantine, and day three of recipe challenge. Today’s recipe is nice and easy. Rather than a BLT, because… well… I had no lettuce… I decided instead to go off-script and go for a BST, since I did have spinach. And then I thought… can I do something even more different? And realized I had some liquid honey in the pantry that would be a great complement the tartness of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the bacon.

And so, the BSTH was born!

I don’t know that I would recommend urban dictionary-ing BSTH… it is not the “theme” I am going for here… *eep*

Let’s get to cooking.

To start out, we will be cooking out bacon. Cook in a large pan on medium-high heat, and transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan, but leave some. This is what we are going to use to toast our bread. On medium high heat, smear the the bread pieces into the bacon fat so they soak up some of it up, then let them toast on both sides to a nice golden brown.

Remove the bread pieces to plates. Spread the mayo on one piece of the bread. We will use the mayo as glue to stick the spinach in place. Place several of the leaves of spinach on the bread.

Add the bacon, and then place the tomato pieces on top. I did not have regular tomatoes here. Again, quarantine mystery box was my source, and there were only cherry tomatoes available to me. There were a few bigger ones that I sliced to be able to fit the sandwich, and they worked really well, actually, but small to medium tomatoes would probably fit a little better.

To finish this sandwich off, drizzle the liquid honey over your ingredients, and then top with the other slice of bread.

I served this sandwich with some delicious chips that I’d procured from Urban Grub a few weeks ago, before we were travelling, that were delicious with this meal. The flavour I had purchased was “Mmmm, tastes like roast chicken” and they were indeed pretty “Mmmm”-worthy.

Serve your sandwich with your side of choice, or on its own, and enjoy.

Happy eating.

Rice Bowl with Fried Eggs, Bacon, and Kimchi Mayo

Rice Bowl with Eggs, Bacon, and Kimchi Mayo

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. white rice
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 pieces bacon
  • 1/2 c. kimchi
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 2 c. spinach, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Directions


Cook rice. Blend together kimchi and mayo until mostly smooth. In a large pan, cook bacon. Set aside, and drain any excess fat. Cook eggs in remaining bacon fat until preferred level of doneness. Add some of the kimchi mayo to the bottom of two bowls. Split rice between bowls, add eggs, bacon and spinach. Top with green onion and remainder of kimchi mayo. Serve.

And now for the details…

We just got back into Canada yesterday from Spain and are self-isolating for at least the next two weeks. It was pretty stressful getting home, as we tried to push our travel forward by a week and a half, with many of the flights getting booked up before we had a chance to secure our way back. We finally managed to book the flights, and we are super lucky to have an amazing support network here. A friend of ours dropped off groceries for us at the house before we got home so we are well stocked while we stay at home to eliminate any exposure to others. What to do while in quarantine for two weeks? Why not a 14 day challenge of one post every day using what we have in the freezer/pantry, plus the fresh veggies and fruits provided by our amazing friend!

This is the meal we had yesterday evening when we got home. Jet lagged and trying to come down from the stress of essentially fleeing for home, we wanted something fairly simple and quick, but also comforting. we happened to have bacon in the freezer, kimchi in the fridge, and rice in the pantry. Along with the fresh veg and eggs our friend brought us, this seemed like a pretty quick and easy meal to throw together while chilling with some TV and a glass of red wine to take off the edge.

Rice bowls seem to be trending right now, but my husband remembers eggs and rice being served to him for a quick meal frequently as a kid. So with what we had available to us, this recipe was born. After I made this dish, it was requested that this dish become our go-to for a quick meal going forward! In its creation, I may have been inspired by Empire Provision and would highly recommend you try out their “My Bowl’s Got Seoul” if you make it there for brunch.

Okay, let’s start cooking.

We start everything out, of course, with cooking the rice. I didn’t specify what kind of white rice here, but my personal preference is for jasmine rice. Completely up to you to take this extra step, but it has been ingrained into me by my husband: wash the rice!!! This means rinsing the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. This will avoid clumpy, gummy rice, and if you are a textural eater, it will enhance your eating experience 😉

While the rice is cooking, put the kimchi and mayo into a blender or small food processor and blend until mostly smooth. If you are willing to put in the extra time and get it super smooth, all the power you. I was tired and hangry and just wanted to eat, so mine was still a little lumpy, more the texture of a pesto than a mayo.

Next, take a large pan, and cook your bacon over medium-high heat. The flexibility of this dish is huge; the amounts and measurements in the recipe are completely guidelines and easy to modify. If you want more bacon, cook more bacon! If you want more eggs, cook more eggs! Feeding four people instead of two? Double the recipe!

Once the bacon is done, set it aside in a dish lined with paper towels. Drain most of the bacon grease out of the pan (why not drain it into a container and use it as a cooking fat alternative for future meals?), and add your eggs. We did ours sunny-side up with soft yolks (a runny, bright orange yolk over the rice? YASSSSSSS), but this is totally up to your preferences. Do I need to learn how to cook my eggs so they look prettier and not floating all over the pan? Maybe. But again: hangry.

While the bacon and eggs are cooking, loosely chop the spinach, and chop the green onions.

We plate this meal by placing some of the kimchi mayo on the bottom of our bowls. Next, add your rice (still hot!), and spread it out to become the base of your bowl. Spreading the rice out is so that everything goes on top and the rice becomes the delicious vehicle that everything else soaks into. Top the rice with the spinach, then add the eggs and bacon on top. Finish it off with a large dollop of the kimchi mayo, and a sprinkling of green onions, and dig in immediately!

Happy eating.