It was my very-soon-to-be-father-in-law's birthday. When Drew was a kid and asked his dad what kind of cake he wanted, he always said banana. And so we made him banana.
Banana is a favorite of mine because pretty much no matter what you do it will be moist, and people always like it. There's something reminiscent of childhood I think. We recently made banana popsicles with cinnamon and cumin. The cumin was an excellent addition, really bringing out the flavors without screaming that it was there. So we added it to the cake, and ended up with a deliciously moist cake with pleasing complexity.
The icing is an Italian brown buttercream, made traditionally but with brown butter in place of about half of the butter. The result had all the pleasant nuttiness of brown butter, and was just sweet enough.
Pecan praline is what you see encircling the cake, and was also between the layers. The accentuated the nutty richness of the brown butter, complemented the banana flavor and added a little textural crunch. Quite a success on all accounts.
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