Maple-Banana Walnut Torte with Bacon Whipped Cream

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Guess what? It's snowing! Just a little bit right now, and then it's supposed to snow 3-5 inches more in the afternoon. We'll see, though...

I'm sure you feel the same way as I do: when it's snowing all I want to do is bake, bake, bake. And drink coffee and read books.

I've been reading more books these days and I LIKE it, people. I've always been a big reader (When I was a kid I would bring books into restaurants when my family would go out to eat=sad), but for a while there I think I was only reading cookbooks and food magazines... and that's not healthy.

I had forgotten what it's like to snuggle up with a book and just read for hours. Or read in the bath tub. I'm a bath tub reader. I highly suggest it. It's weird, I know. Leave me alone.

I also suggest these books I read recently; they're all very good and worth reading.

Sarah's Key

On Rue Tatin

Those Who Save Us

American Wife

A Soft Place to Land

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games sucked me in, so now I'm currently reading Catching Fire

Then I'll follow up with Mockingjay

This is a list of novels I want to read in the future, put together from recommendations from blogs and friends:

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

The Help

The Handmaid's Tale

The Kitchen House


Skinny Bitch

Well, I guess Skinny Bitch isn't a novel, is it? I've heard so much about it. I'm very curious.

Do you have any book recommendations for me? I'd love to hear them. I'm sure others would, too.

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So anyway, I plan on staying in today and reading and baking. I'm actually going to make another banana dessert today... I'm excited.

My uncle James sent me a big bag of English walnuts from his yard in Utah. Thank you, uncle James! (I don't think he reads this, but hey, it couldn't hurt.) I spent one evening cracking walnuts until I could crack no more. I ended up with a ton of walnuts. But no worries - I used them all in within a week. I wish I had a walnut tree.

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I toasted and ground up the walnuts and used them in the cake batter, along with banana and maple syrup. The cake is baked in a springform pan for an hour. That seems like a long time for a cake, but this is a thick, dense cake. Don't worry - it comes out very, very moist and delicious.

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What's even more delicious is the bacon whipped cream... because I could eat that alone as a dessert. It's whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with vanilla extract, and then salty, cooked, chopped bacon is stirred in.

A little crazy, I suppose. I might be off my rocker, but I thought these flavors all worked well together. They're kind of breakfast-y flavors, you know?
Maple + Banana + Walnut + Bacon = Happiness.

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Maple-Banana Walnut Torte with Bacon Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided use
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided use
5 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

Process walnuts in a food processor until finely ground; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat melted butter, 1 cup sugar, banana, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well combined – about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and ground walnuts until combined – about 1 minute. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Pour batter in springform pan; bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until deep golden brown and set (cake no longer wobbles). Cool completely on a wire rack before releasing pan sides and slicing into wedges.

To make the Bacon Whipped Cream, beat cream in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form; beat in additional 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and bacon until well combined. Serve torte with spoonfuls of whipped cream.

Makes 8-10 servings


  1. MMMMMMMM...Excellent pictures!! Salut!!

    Happy MMXI!!!

    Frank, Barcelona

  2. With the "bacon love" that is out there in sweets to add it to whipped cream is a very innovative idea Emily. I see it on waffles.

  3. speechless by this recipe! Sounds AWESOME! :)

    The Help is a GREAT read.

  4. This looks good. The torte, yummi. Here it's snowing very often... I can't bake every day:)

  5. Oh my god, this looks divine :) I want to eat this with an omelet and a mimosa for Sunday brunch. Then nap all day!

    I am such a reader too, have been all my life. The best, best books I've read this past year include:

    Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates

    The Last Town on Earth, by Thomas Mullen

    City of Thieves, by David Benioff

    The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry, by Kathleen Finn (you would love this book, it's her account of moving to Paris to go to Le Cordon Bleu).

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

  6. snowing like CRAZY here - oh well, 'tis the season ;)

    LOOOV the sound of bacon whipped cream!!

  7. Wow I am so intrigued by the bacon whipped cream! I've had bacon in other desserts though, like a bacon maple doughnut and maple bacon ice cream, that were both fantastic, so I bet this is amazing too!

  8. Oh my goodness this looks sensational! I used to be a big reader, but somehow things have gotten in the way, and whenever I do have time to read (train ride or plane flight) I always end up falling asleep. I've been reading the same book for 8 months!

  9. Favorite books of mine: Shutter Island (Dennis Lehane), The Awakening (Kate Chopin), The Clan of the Cavebear series (Jean M. Auel), anything by Jodi Picoult or Elizabeth Berg, Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer), Brokeback Mountain (Annie Proulx)... I could go on and on :).

    The Help is good! The Hunger Games is on my list as well.

  10. Bacon whipped cream?? BACON WHIPPED CREAM?! AMAZING.

  11. This cake sounds so good! My husband would love it--especially with the whipped cream!

  12. Ha, bacon would be a great addition! You should check out How Sweet Eats blog, tons of bacon recipes!

  13. Lindsay @ Brownies For BrunchJanuary 10, 2011 at 8:57:00 AM CST

    It's snowing here in South Carolina today too!! I'm with you on the whole, read, bake, and be happy thing! Yay for snow! Bake something tasty!

  14. Ha ha ha LOL, I like how you stopped yourself at the Skinny Bitch book. You'll like it. It is definiteyl amusing but not only that, very informative.

  15. My roommate is a bath tub reader, too. I either drop the book in the water, or get too cold to enjoy reading in the tub.
    I don't know if you've read David Sedaris, but you should. Not his first book, Barrel Fever, but the rest. Oh, and Laurie Notaro. She's hilarious. I could go on and on, but I won't...
    And I think your latest creation is inspired. But I like bacon. :)

  16. mmmm, what an interesting recipe idea! bacon whipped cream- who'da thunk?!

    p.s. em, you won a necklace on my blog, the hellhole diaries,
    please email me-
    thanks joanne

  17. ...aaaand I'm drooling. I have 5 super ripe bananas sitting at home right now, and would be really tempted to make this if my bf was around this week to help me eat it.

    Since you liked American Wife, you should check out Prep by the same author. It's one of my favorite books!

    - Maggie

  18. I admit I don't have the courage to waste really great whipped cream on bacon and really great bacon on whipped cream. But I guess if YOU say it's good, I should try it. Promise I won't regret it?

  19. I LOVE reading in the bathtub too! And the torte sounds delicious!

  20. sigh. i love reading. like you, however, i've gotten too caught up in reading magazines, blogs, and cookbooks. i went to the library yesterday though and my heart is happy :)

    i recommend Room by Emma Donaghue. It is fascinating!

    Lots of those on your list I've already loved and read! Good picks!

  21. I want to go home and try this immediately! It just got cold in Texas.. FINALLY. I wish I could just snuggle up at home and read and eat.. but alas I'm at work :( I recently read Eat Cake.. I loved it.. and it had recipes!

  22. I'm on Mockingjay right now. LOVE the series!
    The Help was my favorite book of 2010. Also check out Water for Elephants and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
    I'm a longtime reader and I love your blog!

  23. I read a lot as well. I was a library rat at an early age, and I am definitely a bubble bath reader too. Most of my magazines can attest to that with crinkly pages! I really liked The Help. The cake looks really good. I've not gotten into any of the bacon pairings with sweet treats. Sounds intriguing. Stay warm!

  24. I love this recipe! I am hoping to make a banana cinnamon chip loaf cake very soon. Also, I loved the Hunger Games trilogy. Some people said it was a "child's book" when they saw I was reading it. Gasp! Haters gon' keep on hating.

  25. I think I love you :-)

    This one is definitely being made by me in 2011!!! The sooner the better!

  26. I've never experienced a baking day in the snow; but I imagine that it would feel perfect! Being in the warm kitchen and nibbling on hot-out-of the oven sweets...

  27. happy new year! this looks really good, can i turn them into loaves of bread or muffins? i don't have a spring form pan...i kno, im so embarrassed.
    re:hunger games--really good series, had me on edge, quick read, very exciting. however, the last one (the mockingjay) was kinda a letdown, imho. but all still worth reading. if you ever add a account let me kno, i'll add you as a friend! :)

  28. Your talk of cracking walnuts reminded me of the first time you mentioned Eric on your blog. :)

    If you're off your rocker here, then so am I. This sounds seriously delicious. And I love maple syrup on my scrambled eggs and bacon so I really want to try this one!!

  29. The torte looks yummy and wonderfully moist. Not heard of bacon cream before!
    I've given you an award, please visit my blog for details.

  30. Oh I second Revolutionary Road (actually everything by Richard Yates)
    I also loved all Wally Lamb's books particularly, I Know This Much Is True

    Finally I love Colum McCann, I think "This Side of Brightness" is his best, love "Let the Great World Spin" too

    The torte looks amazing.

  31. I love to read in the bathtub, too. I haven't done it in a long time, though.. I should get back to that.

    That torte looks amazing. I've been craving maple syrup in everything lately but haven't been able to bring myself to spend the $10 for a bottle of it! Someday!

  32. Bacon Whipped cream? My husband thinks I spend too much time reading food blogs. I think he may change his mind if I feed him bacon whipped cream :P

  33. You definitely had me at "Bacon Whipped Cream"... I mean seriously? Absolute GENIUS! I loooooved The Help! Such a great book!

  34. Your photos are amazing! and in terms of books? I just finished one called The Imperfectionists and loved it, also the Sea Captain's Wife. So many good books...

  35. thanks for the recommendations! i just finished reading the short story collections of jhumpa lahiri (interpreter of maladies and unaccustomed earth), author of the namesake (also a good one if you haven't read it; it was also made into a movie). i really enjoy her writing style. check her out if you haven't already!

  36. Thanks everyone! I'm going to reference this blog post when I need another book to read. :)

    Anon, good ideas! I wonder if I would like Revolutionary Road... I didn't like the movie. I would like a mimosa right now, please.

    Justeen, mmm bacon doughnuts.

    Caroline, oh I know that feeling!

    Pamela, thank you! I will.

    Maggie... oooh okay! Will do.

    Sue, DO IT!!

    Evan, I've heard of that one. That's on my list too!

    Shannon, aww thank you! I can't wait to read the Help.

    Anj, we would be the best of friends if you lived here!

    Sherry, not cool! They're good books. :)

    t, I think so... I'm not sure about the baking times though. Probably 20 minutes for muffins... 45ish for bread?

    Lisa, me too! I think of us sitting there all night cracking pecans. :)

  37. shut up! bacon whipped cream? be still, my heart. not totally still, mind you--i like bacon, but it hasn't completely clogged my arteries just yet... :)

  38. bacon whipped cream? Oh my...I'm dying! (in a good way)

  39. can you send me some walnuts? fantastic. better yet, just send me some of this... bacon whipped cream...

  40. i read the handmaid's tale last year and i got super bored, i don't recommend it unless you don't slow novels. the book also keeps moving in time from past to present, but it's not confusing

  41. That is so funny about reading in restaurants as a kid! I used to do the SAME thing, and my sister used to make fun of me like nothing else! but I LOVED to read. I still do, and I'll go through spurts where I cannot put a book down, and I'll read like 3 books in a week, then won't touch one for months. Weird I know.

    I'm going to have to check out the book suggestions.

    The maple whipped cream sounds awesome!

  42. The bacon maple whipped cream is what has me sold on this recipe! I think it sounds great with the banana torte. Yum!

    I loved On Rue Tatin! I read it at night and woke up the next morning, headed to the store, and bought groceries to make the recipes I had read the night before. I tried several of the recipes and they were all really good.

    I also read The Hunger Games trilogy recently. So good!

    I'm a HUGE reader so I'm glad you have been able to reignite that passion and love for the written word. Great job lady!

  43. Bacon whipped cream?? Did you come up with that on your own?
    That is amazing and I can't wait to try this!

  44. These look great and your pictures are fabulous!

  45. Just found your blog the other day and I love it! I can't wait to try so many of your recipes! Just started my own, but it's taking some time to get up and running, so thanks for all the blogging tips. :-)

    If you liked The Huger Games (I literally couldn't put it down), try A Discovery of Witches.