A French Yule Log – Daring Bakers Dec Challenge

The Daring Bakers came up with an ‘extreme’ challenge to end the year with a big bang! Last year they made a Yule Log out of cake, but this time it is a French Yule Log, which has several layers in it. When I first read the recipe I was sure I wasn’t going to make it, not because the challenge was intimidated but because I had no parties to take it to. In the nth moment, I made it finally, for a dinner at a friend’s place last night. It was a rush against time to get it done so I could post it before the month ends!

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

FRENCH YULE LOG OR ENTREMETS RECIPE by Flore of Florilège Gourmand

In France you can buy two kinds of Yule log, either the Genoise and Buttercream type that we made last December, or what is more commonly purchased which is a frozen Yule Log very reminiscent of an ice cream cake, only often it’s not made of ice cream but rather frozen mousse of some sort. In French this is called an Entremets which is sometimes loosely translated in English as simply a cream dessert. This also means that this recipe is not holiday-specific, it is just a scrumptious dessert recipe.

This French Yule Log has six elements in it. And we were required to make all of the six elements (layers) and then assemble the log.

We were allowed various flavour and options and also different variations of chocolate; milk, dark or white chocolate.

Element #1 Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake)
Preparation time: 10 mn + 15 mn for baking

Equipment: 2 mixing bowls, hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula, baking pan such as a 10”x15” jelly-roll pan, parchment paper

Note: You can use the Dacquoise for the bottom of your Yule Log only, or as bottom and top layers, or if using a Yule log mold (half-pipe) to line your entire mold with the biscuit. Take care to spread the Dacquoise accordingly. Try to bake the Dacquoise the same day you assemble the log to keep it as moist as possible.

2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) almond meal
1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s (caster) sugar
2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
3.5oz (100g / ~100ml) about 3 medium egg whites
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar

1.Finely mix the almond meal and the caster sugar. (If you have a mixer, you can use it by pulsing the ingredients together for no longer than 30 seconds).
2. Sift the flour into the mix.
3. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
4. Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
5. Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it.
6. Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape (circle, long strip etc...) and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm).
7. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden.
8. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.

Element #2 Dark Chocolate Mousse (I did a combination of milk and white chocolate)
Preparation time: 20mn

Equipment: stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment, thermometer, double boiler or equivalent, spatula

Note: You will see that a Pate a Bombe is mentioned in this recipe. A Pate a Bombe is a term used for egg yolks beaten with sugar syrup, and then aerated. It is the base used for many mousse and buttercream recipes. It makes mousses and buttercreams more stable, particularly if they are to be frozen, so that they do not melt as quickly or collapse under the weight of heavier items such as the crème brulee insert.

Gelatin is the gelifying agent in all of the following recipes, but if you would like to use agar-agar, here are the equivalencies: 8g powdered gelatin = 1 (0.25 oz) envelope powdered gelatin = 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin = 1 Tbsp Agar-Agar.
1 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes is equal to 1 tsp. of agar-agar powder.

2.5 sheets gelatin or 5g / 1+1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
0.5 oz (15g) water
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
6.2 oz (175g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package.)
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white).
2a.Cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
2b.Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer.
2c. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remaining cream.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of the whipped cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe.
6. Add in the rest of the cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Photo Update-

I was finally able to take a picture of a slice once the log was well frozen. You can now see the layers clearly, compared to before. I’m glad this came out nicely all ,and not as bad as it looked previously!!

Element #3 White Chocolate Ganache Insert
Preparation time: 10mn

Equipment: pan, whisk. If you have plunging mixer (a vertical hand mixer used to make soups and other liquids), it comes in handy.

Note: Because the ganache hardens as it cools, you should make it right before you intend to use it to facilitate piping it onto the log during assembly. Please be careful when caramelizing the sugar and then adding the cream. It may splatter and boil.

White Chocolate Ganache Insert
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
5 oz (135g) white chocolate, finely chopped
4.5 oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp / 135g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small sauce pan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber color
2. While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil.
3. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth.

Element #4 Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert
Preparation time: 10 mn (+ optional 15mn if you make lace crepes)

Equipment: Small saucepan, baking sheet (if you make lace crepes).
Double boiler (or one small saucepan in another), wax paper, rolling pin (or I use an empty bottle of olive oil).

Note: Feuillete means layered (as in with leaves) so a Praline Feuillete is a Praline version of a delicate crisp. There are non-praline variations below. The crunch in this crisp comes from an ingredient which is called gavottes in French. Gavottes are lace-thin crepes. To our knowledge they are not available outside of France, so you have the option of making your own using the recipe below or you can simply substitute rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K for them.

To make 2.1oz / 60g of gavottes (lace crepes - recipe by Ferich Mounia):
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
2/3 Tbsp (8g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup – 2tsp (35g) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp / 0.5 oz (15g) beaten egg
1 tsp (3.5g) granulated sugar
½ tsp vegetable oil

1. Heat the milk and butter together until butter is completely melted. Remove from the heat.
2. Sift flour into milk-butter mixture while beating, add egg and granulated sugar. Make sure there are no lumps.
3. Grease a baking sheet and spread batter thinly over it.
4. Bake at 430°F (220°C) for a few minutes until the crepe is golden and crispy. Let cool.

Ingredients for the Praline Feuillete:
3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter
2 Tbsp (1 oz / 30g) praline
2.1oz (60g) lace crepes(gavottes) or rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K ( I used the rice krispies)

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the praline and the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.

Element #5 Vanilla Crème Brulée Insert
Preparation time: 15mn + 1h infusing + 1h baking

Equipment: Small saucepan, mixing bowl, baking mold, wax paper

Note: The vanilla crème brulée can be flavored differently by simply replacing the vanilla with something else e.g. cardamom, lavender, etc...

1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
½ cup (115g) whole milk
4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks
0.75 oz (2 Tbsp / 25g) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean

1. Heat the milk, cream, and scraped vanilla bean to just boiling. Remove from the stove and let the vanilla infuse for about 1 hour.
2. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white).
3. Pour the vanilla-infused milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well.
4. Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking mold (whatever shape is going to fit on the inside of your Yule log/cake) with parchment paper. Pour the cream into the mold and bake at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
5. Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.

Element #6 Milk Chocolate Icing
Preparation time: 25 minutes (10mn if you don’t count softening the gelatin)

Equipment: Small bowl, small saucepan

Note: Because the icing gelifies quickly, you should make it at the last minute.
For other gelatin equivalencies or gelatin to agar-agar equivalencies, look at the notes for the mousse component.

Element #6 Dark Chocolate Icing

Preparation time:
25 minutes (10mn if you don’t count softening the gelatin)

Small bowl, small saucepan

Because the icing gelifies quickly, you should make it at the last minute.
For other gelatin equivalencies or gelatin to agar-agar equivalencies, look at the notes for the mousse component.

4g / ½ Tbsp powdered gelatin or 2 sheets gelatin
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream (35 % fat content)
2.1 oz (5 Tbsp / 60g) granulated sugar

¼ cup (50g) water

1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Boil the rest of the ingredients and cook an additional 3 minutes after boiling.
3. Add gelatin to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.

4. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gelify), use immediately.

How To Assemble the French Yule Log

Depending on whether your mold is going to hold the assembly upside down until you unmold it or right side up, this order will be different.

You will want to tap your mold gently on the countertop after each time you pipe mousse in to get rid of any air bubbles.

1) Line your mold or pan, whatever its shape, with rhodoid (plastic transparencies) OR plastic wrap. Rhodoid will give you a smoother shape but you may have a hard time using it depending on the kind of mold you’re using.
2) Cut the Dacquoise into a shape fitting your mold and set it in there. If you are using an actual Yule mold which is in the shape of a half-pipe, you want the Dacquoise to cover the entire half-pipe portion of the mold.
3) Pipe one third of the Mousse component on the Dacquoise.
4) Take the Creme Brulee Insert out of the freezer at the last minute and set on top of the mousse. Press down gently to slightly ensconce it in the mousse.
5) Pipe second third of the Mousse component around and on top of the Creme Brulee Insert.
6) Cut the Praline/Crisp Insert to a size slightly smaller than your mold so that it can be surrounded by mousse. Lay it on top of the mousse you just piped into the mold.
7) Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Praline Insert.
8) Freeze for a few hours to set. Take out of the freezer.
9) Pipe the Ganache Insert onto the frozen mousse leaving a slight edge so that ganache doesn’t seep out when you set the Dacquoise on top.
10) Close with the last strip of Dacquoise.

Freeze until the next day.


Unmold the log and set on a wire rack over a shallow pan.
Cover the cake with the prepared icing.
Let set and return to the freezer.
Decorate the cake/log -- I drizzled left over milk chocolate ganache on top of the log. I made the dark chocolate hearts but pouring out the remaining icing on a sheet. I let it set and then cut it with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
Transfer to the refrigerator no longer than ½ hour before serving as it may start to melt quickly depending on the elements you chose.

The mousse element began to melt while taking pics, hence the mess up in layers. (Update: I took a pic after the log was well frozen-- see above) The next time I will make sure I don't attempt any DB challenges in the last moment...this one almost fell apart on me! But all in all, the log was great taste wise and elements wise.

Phew, I almost missed this challenge,glad I could complete it!! :)

Wishing all of you a wonderful and peaceful New Year!

Methi(Fenugreek) Pulao with Cucumber Raitha

We had friends over for dinner last night and as always I was stumped deciding the menu! A quick call to my mom and I was all set :D. She gave me two recipes one for a curry and one for a pulao. I made both and they came out great. The recipe below is for Methi Pulao, a fragrant rice dish made with fresh and dried fenugreek leaves and simple ingredients from your pantry.

Methi(Fenugreek leaves) Pulao:

You will need:

1 Cup Basmati Rice

1 ½ cups Methi (fenugreek) leaves

2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

2 Onions, thinly sliced

3 Tomatoes cubed

½ cup fresh/frozen peas

2 tbsp Corriander powder

1 tbsp Cumin powder

2 tsp Red chilli powder

2 tsp Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek),crushed

Salt to taste

2 tsp Lemon juice

¼ Cup Oil

1 ½ cups Water

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté till transparent and soft. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Now add the washed methi leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, till the methi leaves are fragrant. Once the methi leaves are done, add the tomatoes, and cook till soft.Add the coriander, cumin and chilli powders, fry for a minute. Add the water and close the cooker lid. Increase heat to high and when the steam begins to rise, lower heat and open lid slowly. Add the washed Basmati rice. Stir in lemon juice, kasuri methi and salt to taste. Close with lid and turn heat to high. When the steam begins to rise, place weight on the lid and lower heat. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn off heat. Mix well before serving hot with a cucumber raitha.

Cucumber Raitha:

½ Cup Plain Yoghurt, beaten

½ cup Water

1 Cucumber, chopped

½ onion, chopped

4 Green chillies, chopped

Salt to taste

Mix all of the above ingredients and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This helps the flavours to come together.

My guests enjoyed this well and I'm surely making it again!

No-bake cookies – Bachelor’s Buttons

Cookies and no baking? Does sound intriguing right? Not so much when you make these Bachelor’s Buttons. This is one of the very first things I learned from mom, for the very simple reason that I loved them. As a kid,I often watched mom make it during her cooking classes and waited eagerly to get hold of these after the class. Definitely worth the wait!

Years later, and I still love it as much as I did then. Anytime I need to take a walk down memory lane, I know just the thing to make -- Bachelor's Buttons

Bachelor's Buttons are perfect for any occasion. They are light and can be made in a snap! A few simple ingredients, but the outcome will make it look like you slogged for hours!

You will need:

30 Marie biscuits, quartered

½ Cup Sweetened Condensed milk

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tbsp Butter, softened

1-2 tsp Milk, if required

For the Topping:

½ Cup Desiccated coconut

Dried cherries or Hershey’s Mini Kisses

Place quartered biscuits in a food processor and pulse to make a fine powder. Sieve and keep aside.

Cream butter in a medium bowl. Add the fine biscuit powder, the cocoa powder and the condensed milk. Mix to make a dough, if its not coming together, add a tsp of milk. Knead gently into a smooth dough. Make small balls. Roll in desiccated coconut and press the dried cherry or mini kisses in the centre.

These will store for upto a week in an air tight container. These beauties are not too sweet either.

Twirls of Flavour

Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits and to have the same flavour in a cookie that was something I had to try! I found the recipe for these Raspberry Almond Twirls in the Better Homes & Gardens baking book and one look at the picture; I went right ahead and baked it. They are very festive and tasty too. I had no idea Raspberries and Almonds went so well together, till I took a bite of this.

Raspberry Almond Twirls:

You will need: Makes 50-55 cookies

½ Cup Butter, at room temperature

1 Cup Sugar

½ tsp Baking powder

1 Egg

3 tbsp Milk

¼ tsp Vanilla extract

2 ¾ cups All purpose flour

For the filling:

½ cup Raspberry jam

1 ½ tsp Cornstarch

½ cup Almonds, toasted and ground

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined. Add the egg, milk and the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the flour and beat to make a stiff dough. If your mixer is straining to mix the dough, bear in the remaining flour by hand using a wooden spoon.Cover and chill for an hour.

For the filling, in a pan combine the raspberry jam and the cornstarch. Stir until bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat, add the ground almonds, stir and cover. Let cool completely.

Divide dough in half. Roll out each part into a 12x8 rectangle on a wax paper. Divide filling and spread evenly on each of the rectangles. From the short side, roll each up, taking the help of the wax paper. Remove wax paper as you roll. Moisten and seal edges. Cover in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease foil lightly. Cut the chilled dough into ¼ inch thick discs, place on cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes till lightly browned and sides are firm. Let cool on wire racks before storing in an air tight container.

These cookies are my entry to the Holiday Cookie Baking Event hosted by Sharmi at Neivedyam.

Chocolate Orangey Chocolate Chip Cookies

A mouthful to say and definitely worth it, 'cause these cookies are as tasty as they sound. It's that time of the year again, to bring out those cookie recipes and get baking in the kitchen. The joy of baking and the even better one of sharing these baked goodies with friends and family...a feeling of warmth and happiness.

Chocolate and Orange is a combination made by the food gods, a combination so exquisite that you just can't get enough of it!

Chocolate Orangey chocolate chip Cookies:

You will need

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp Orange zest
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp Orange juice
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl, beat butter till its light and fluffy. Add sugar, orange peel and the egg. Beat on medium speed till combined.Add the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Combine to form a stiff dough. Now add the orange juice and mix to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be sticky.

With the help of a spoon, place small mounds of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness with the help of a fork. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until sides are firm.

Cool for a couple of minutes on the sheet and then cool completely on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.I had to really hold myself back from eating all these cookies! Delicious to the last crumb.

The Orange juice make these cookies more 'orangey', so if you are not a big fan of orange flavoured stuff, feel free to cut back on the quantity or leave it out altogether.

These cookies are off to Eat Christmas Cookies 2 event over at Food Blogga. Don't forget to check cookies from all over the world -- here.

Daring Bakers Nov – Caramel Cake

I am late in posting November's challenge, but I guess its never too late to finish up a DBers Challenge!!

I barely had time to get back from my long vacation and settle down;baking was most definitely not on my mind just yet. I have been procrastinating this one for the past 3 days, no butter, gloomy weather to take pics, hmm let me do it tomorrow…so on and so forth. I did it today at last! And just about a week late… :)

The challenge for the month of November was a signature Caramel Cake.by Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater. Our host was the lovely Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity and co-hosting with her were Alex and Jenny . The recipe is by Shuna Fish Lydon.

I didn't want to make a big cake so I made a 6" cake, layered it into two and frosted it with the caramelized buttercream. This one is a lot of sugar, so halving the recipe was definitely a good idea! I decorated the cake with buttercream swirls and topped it with coloured sugar.


You will need:

10 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


You will need:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

The cake was differently delicious, but way too sweet for us! It was a good experience with caramel though.

Another challenge done for now!

Banana Walnut Loaf

Several months ago, when I was on a cake baking spree, my family back home really wondered if all these cakes were my creations. I really don’t blame them for doubting my skills because before I got married I wouldn’t enter the kitchen let alone hold a knife. Baking was of course, nowhere in my skills list. So this time when I was in India, I baked a few cakes and the following was one of them. Everybody loved this, considering it’s not available in bakeries in India. This was proof enough for all those who took a slice....I had to bake 3 more of these loaves!!

Banana Walnut Loaf

You will need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup, set aside. Lightly butter a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand-held or stand up mixer. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don't worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 5 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap. Tastes best when served the next day.

This is a great way to use up over ripened bananas. The combination of bananas and walnuts is sure to have you licking your fingers and it makes a very moist cake.

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