Updates have been sparse lately because I had a wisdom tooth out earlier this week and was not up for cooking nor blogging, but I'm happy to say that I'm back to eating solid foods again :) Last night I found myself once again the usual predicament of having ripening bananas and no desire to eat them as is. As luck would have it, I also happened to have a few boxes of instant pudding mixes in the cupboard, which I bought for my widsom tooth recovery period, and my boyfriend gave me an idea to make some sort of cake and pudding trifle to use up the bananas. He said he wanted a light sponge cake to go with the pudding and bananas, and I immediately thought of the Bostini cream pie that I had seen the Daring Bakers make not too long ago – a similar concept of a small sponge cake with a custard and topped with chocolate sauce. I decided to use the orange chiffon cake from this recipe, with some alterations to suit my pantry, which came together with surprising ease. With the speediness of instant coconut pudding to shave off even more time, this became one of the simplest "complex" desserts that I've ever made! I love the combination of flavors, from the coconut to the bananas, to the orange, and the chocolate – everything pairs so well and none of the flavors overwhelm each other. And I find layered desserts so elegant-looking, so I'm definitely making this for company sometime :)
Coconut Banana Trifle with Orange Chiffon Cake cake adapted from Scala's Bostini Cream Pie
(makes 6 individual servings)
Orange Chiffon Cake
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 eggs, separated
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/6 cup canola oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 package instant coconut cream pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 ripe bananas, cut into slices
1 oz. chocolate chips
1 tbsp salted butter
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 6-hole muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg yolks, oil, orange juice, vanilla and almond extracts, stirring together until just blended (dont' worry about lumps).
3. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, and add in cream of tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks form. (I used a hand-held rotary beater for this in place of an electric one and it worked out great!)
4. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites carefully into the batter in 3 separate additions. Ladle batter into the muffin pan, filling each well to the top.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops of cakes spring back when lightly pressed with fingertips. Remove immediately from oven. Slide a knife around the edges of the cakes and flip over the muffin pan to release the cakes onto a cooling rack. They will have a golden brown skin around the edges, and you can either keep them for texture and color or trim it off for aesthetic appeal – I tried both and they both look and taste great.
6. While the cakes are baking, prepare the instant pudding according to directions and chill in the fridge. For the chocolate sauce topping, melt butter in the microwave, then stir in chocolate chips to melt. If they don't all melt, microwave for an additional 20 seconds and stir well.
7. To assemble dessert – slice up cakes into three layers. In a parfait glass or a goblet, alternate spoonfuls of pudding, banana slices, and cake layers, ending with a cake layer on top. Drizzle with chocolate sauce on top and garnish with banana slices. Serve immediately or chill until needed. Enjoy!