Recipes courtesy: Chef Kevin Winston II (TheFlavorPlaybook.com)
Bananas Foster Pound Cake
For the Cake:
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
4 Tablespoons dark rum, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
For the Glaze:
¼ cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons dark rum
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 10 – inch tube or Bundt pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for a few minutes, then add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir 3 Tablespoons of the rum and vanilla extract into the mashed bananas, then beat the mix into the butter until combined. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together, then gradually beat into the batter until completely incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake for 45- 50 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If the cake starts to get too brown, cover it loosely with foil.
Leave the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack set over a piece of foil or waxed paper (to catch drips from the glaze). Poke holes on top of the cake with a skewer, then dribble the remaining 1 Tablespoon rum over it, distributing it evenly. The rum will soak right in. Leave the cake to cool completely.
The cake must be completely cool, or the glaze will slide right off.
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a saucepan with the brown sugar, cream, rum and salt. After everything melts together, bring to a full, rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches that boil, count to 60 Mississippi, then pull it off the heat. Leave the pan to cool for about 5 minutes, then vigorously beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.
Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, but do so slowly and evenly to cover as much surface as possible. Leave the glaze to set, then slice and enjoy. Covered tightly, this cake will last a few days.
Red Velvet Whoopi Pies
For the Cookies
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet and milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
Whisk the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl until combined. In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four equal batches, whisking each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops with a damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla seeds. Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.