June 9, 2013

Banana Nutella Bundt Cake

You guys, Mel Brooks is my hero.

If you don't like Mel Brooks, you should know: we can never be friends. That's a deal breaker right there.

If you don't know who Mel Brooks is... you've been living a very sheltered life. Go watch Young Frankenstein. Or Silent Movie. Or Space Balls. Or High Anxiety. Or Robin Hood: Men in Tights (do yourself a favor and watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves first. Trust me. It makes Men in Tights 12 times funnier. Plus, despite how terrible Prince of Thieves is, it's worth it just to see Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. He's phenomenal.) Or you can watch the bestie's and mine go-to date night movie: Blazing Saddles.

She's Sheriff Bart, and I'm the Waco Kid.
See this hand?
Steady as a rock.
Yeah, but this is the hand I shoot with.

Don't get us started quoting. We'll quote the entire movie.

You see, I have very discerning tastes when it comes to comedy. I love funny, but there's actually very little out there that I find funny. Bridesmaids? I was cringing in second hand embarrassment the entire movie. The Hangover movies? I can barely find the comedy in the premise, let alone in 3 different movies. Adam Sandler movies? Yeah, no.

I'm not trying to be snooty or anything. I'm not even saying I need my comedy to be intelligent. My sense of humor is just different, meaning there is a very small window of things I find funny. Mel Brooks movies always fit into that small window.
Yeah, that scene is never not funny.

And Mel himself, the man is in his eighties, but he's still got that perfect comedic timing. I watch an interview with him and I'm crying I'm laughing so hard (especially if Carl Reiner is there with him). So Hollywood? If you could just get Mel to make some more movies, I'd be a-okay with that. I'll even bribe him with some of this cake, if that would help move things along.
It's very yummy cake, too. It was originally s'mores-inspired (hence the mounds of fluffy, toasted 7-minute frosting on the top), but it doesn't actually taste s'mores-y, and it's better without the frosting. Heh. Still, the frosting is super pretty, right?
But I'm not giving you the recipe for the the frosting. Because making 7-minute frosting is like being in one of those stress positions used in non-verbal interrogations. 7 minutes doesn't sound like long, but it's a long time to use a hand mixer in a circular motion on the top of a double boiler. And sometimes, it can take longer than 7 minutes. Dudes, I was ready to cry by the time the 7 minutes were up. My shoulder's twinging in remembrance as I write this. Take my advice: the frosting is pretty, but not worth it. Because you know what's even prettier than the frosting?
The freaking inside of this cake. Do you see that perfect swirl of chocolatey hazelnutty goodness there? Do you see how perfect that is?

I have absolutely no idea how that happened. My intention was for the chocolate batter to just run through the middle of the bundt. I wanted it to be like a tunnel, but I was expecting it to be more like a layer in the middle. And then I sliced the cake, and I nearly died from how awesome it actually was.
And this cake, it's moist and rich and sweet and flavorful, with that perfect swirl giving you just a touch of chocolate and a hint of hazelnut. This cake is the ultimate banana cake. Even without frosting flavored with my tears.

Banana Nutella Bundt Cake
Yield: 12 servings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generally grease and flour 1 regular bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy. Add the bananas, eggs, and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk and remaining flour, and beat on low until fully incorporated.

Reserve about 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl. To this, add the Nutella and cocoa powder, and mix well. Spread half of the remaining batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Add the Nutella batter, then spread the remaining batter on top. Bake 45-50 minutes until browned and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the pan about 10-20 minutes before attempting to remove.

*I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder

Recipe by Kim