Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Keke fa'i - banana cake

In my childhood home, our pots ranged from large to gigantic. We used massive rectangular roasting dishes and deep stock pots almost every day. Food was dished from giant serving plates and bowls using matching giant serving spoons and tongs. 


We had a wok that was so big it couldn't be lifted with one hand, and a ginormous teapot bigger than the size of my head. That Jurassic teapot was always filled with tea or coffee or koko, the spout plugged with a makeshift newspaper 'cork' to keep the flies out


What I remember of our kitchen was that everything was either big, bigger or biggest. The chopping boards, the knives, the juice pitchers, the wooden spoons - all HUGE.


No, we didn't run a catering business. 
We were just your average Samoan family. 



So my mother would make this cake in a baking pan that I think only professional wedding cake makers use. That pan I remember was about 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter, and despite its size the cakes always came out perfectly, without sticking. When she turned her cakes out onto the cooling rack, they would land with a puff of steam, smooth dark brown edges and an irresistible baked banana smell


In my current kitchen, I don't have anything as big as my mother's banana cake pan, so the recipe has been dramatically scaled back. But not the flavour. In this cake, banana is the star.


Keke fa'i (serves 6-8)
makes 8" (20 cm) round cake


1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick + 1 tablespoon (125g) butter, softened 
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium overripe bananas)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup hot milk

Grease and/or line your cake pan and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 


Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
With electric beaters, cream the butter with the sugar until it's light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, then the vanilla, beating well after each addition.


Switch from the beaters to a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir the mashed banana into the butter mixture. 
Dissolve the baking soda into the milk and stir that in too.
Finally, sift your sifted ingredients into the mixture and gently fold them in. 


As soon as all the ingredients are moistened, pour the batter evenly into the cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 



Cool completely and then fill and top with sweetened whipped cream or chocolate frosting.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe!! I've been manickly searching for a banana cake that is moist and dark, and your picture has me salavating!! OMG. I have been trying to hit up my girlfriend for the recipe. She is about to text it to me now, but I've found this in the meantime. I might have to have a bake off and I think her recipe wont be needed now! lol...Gonna give it a go tonight! Kai lava

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    1. Hope it's the moist, dark cake you were after. Remember to use OVERRIPE bananas...like, severely over-ripe, black-skinned if possible. Good luck with your keke and let me know how it goes.

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  2. Do u have a video tutorial on dis keke fai

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    1. No, I only make videos for traditional Samoan dishes so that people unfamiliar with our food know what it's supposed to look like.

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  3. Ooh that looks so yummy. Cant wait to try it.

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  4. Your freak'n awesome!! TY for sharing..

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  5. Thank you so much for this recipe, was very easy to follow and can't wait till kids get home to taste it with me x

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    1. Hi Ronny, hope your kids loved the cake. It's one of my all-time favourites.

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  6. thank you panipopos for sharing your wonderful recipe for keke fa'i, I made your recipe last night & the texture was so light & fluffy for a bananna cake and the taste was perfect, although I did add 1/2 tsp cinnamon as a personal preference.

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    1. I do that sometimes too. Thank you for the feedback Monica!

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  7. Fantastic recipe. My wife found it on Saturday night and I made up a double quantity as two cakes for family to'ona'i on Sunday. They passed the "consumers" test with flying colours :-) Those ones were filled with whipped cream and sliced banana. Today I made another and again it's come out perfect. We're eating this one plain and it's great - moist and full of flavour. Can't wait to check out some of your other recipes - thanks so much for sharing your skill, knowledge and expertise - malo lava.

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    1. Oh yum. I haven't made this in a while but the description of your filling has my mouth watering. Must make this again soon. Thank you so much for leaving feedback. I really appreciate it.

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  8. Can u use margarine,?

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    1. Sure, but not the reduced-fat, reduced-flavour, reduced-everything-so-it-doesn't-even-taste/look/smell-like-butter type of margarine. (Can you tell I love butter?)

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  9. Hi to make this in a roast dish would I just double all the ingredients? Also would I adjust the time as well

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    1. Hi Dianne, yes, just double the ingredients and remove the cake when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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