07 April 2009

Velvet Elvis

Sometimes, in thinking about a song or a recipe or a new drink, the title is what comes to me first. Back in my lots of shots days, I would make drinks for friends using their name as inspiration,. For example, the Lauren is hot coffee, vodka, and Baileys. "Chicken To Ride", "All My Exes Have New Sexes" and "Feta Cheese" all started out as song titles.

Here's todays inspiration... the Velvet Elvis Cake. There are versions out on the internets, but they lack the important banana quotient.

Velvet Elvis Cake

• Vegetable oil for the pans
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
• Sliced Fresh Banana.
• Banana Chips for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the peanut butter cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Lay out evenly spaced banana slices on the frosting. Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish top of cake with banana chips and crumb coat sides of cake with chopped banana chips.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Makes about 2-1/2 cups, enough for 1 two-layer cake or 18 cupcakes
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cream the peanut butter and cream cheese in a mixer with the paddle attachment, scraping the sides once or twice, until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar gradually. When completely incorporated, add the vanilla.

Now I just have to get over my lifelong hatred of the banana long enough to make one... :)

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