Monday, February 11, 2008

Bananas Foster Crunch Cake

I seldom buy, eat or cook with bananas in our home because of their high sugar content, but it became necessary this week for me to make allowances and find some recipes for dishes that we could share with friends and neighbors and that would use bananas. This Bananas Foster Crunch Cake caught my eye almost immediately, and I printed out the recipe and started on its preparation. When I realized that I didn't have cornmeal, I decided to try out the ramon flour (**see below for more information about this incredible product) for the first time. My sudden desire to cook with bananas began when ...

we discovered that the bananas that we had been watching grow on the palm tree out back were ripening at an ever increasing speed and had begun falling plumply to the ground. We asked around and soon learned that the way to harvest the racim of bananas is to cut down the entire palm tree .. apparently the banana palm produces only one racim of bananas in its life, then dies. However, before the bananas ripen, the palm sends up one or more shoots right beside it that will produce the next generation of fruit. If the shoots are cut down before the "Mama" bears her fruit, the Mama will die. So, we cut down the "Mama" palm, leaving the new 4 foot shoot growing in its place, and hung the bananas to continue the rapid ripening process hanging from my living room ceiling!

I have now printed out several recipes that will no doubt be appearing here over the next few days ... but started with this one yesterday. I didn't have all the ingredients that were called for, but found totally appropriate substitutions.

Exported from BigOven (*see below)

Bananas Foster Crunch Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 -1/2 cups sugar (I used half white and half panela or raw brown sugar)
2 large eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
1/4 cup light rum (I used the liquid that had collected on my preserved nances)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (I used ramon flour ** see note below)
1 -1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans (no pecans here ... but i found some walnuts)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used panela)
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted

Beat 1/2 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy;
gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after
each addition. Stir in mashed bananas, rum, and vanilla. Combine 1 1/2 cups
flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture, mixing until blended.
Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup flour and remaining ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake
at 350 degrees F. for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center
of cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool
completely on wire rack. Yield: about 10 servings.

*This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping.
Easy recipe software. Try it free at:


The flavor was deep, rich and chocolaty, even though it contains no chocolate, and the general texture is heavy like good gooey brownies. Everybody has been enjoying it.

Known as "Yaxox" in Mayan, the ramon tree (Brosimum Alicastrum) is a member of the fig family, which also includes mulberry trees. Referred to as "corn tree" by the Maya civilization, its nut was a staple food crop, capable of being stored for lengthy periods of time, that was roasted, ground into a flour and combined with corn for baking or boiled and eaten like potatoes. Ramon nuts are actually the seed of the ramon fruit. They have zero fat and can be ground into flour which is gluten-free making it a nutritious addition to gluten-free flours. Ramon flour is very high in potassium, fiber and tryptophan, the amino acid that helps calm stress and anxiety. Ramon nuts were used medicinally by the Maya to detoxify the liver and promote lactation in nursing women. Other common names for ramon nuts are ojoche, mojo. breadnut and mayanut.

Ramon was integral to the physical and spiritual life of the Maya as evidenced by their 4th day-sign glyph, KAN, meaning "the seed" ... which is a depiction of a ramon seed.

Enrique and I have been championing the re-popularization of ramon seeds since we first heard about them, and understood their importance, not only as a food, but as a way for the people of the rainforest to earn a living in harmony with the trees of the jungle (see Through the support of various organizations, the women's group of Ixlu (our neighboring village) now operates a full-fledged production/packaging facility for Ramon Flour and Ramon Beverage. (see AND ).


That looks and sounds fantastic, that is a recipe I would definitely make.

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