Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Carmel Banana Upside Down Cake

"Chocolate Carmel Banana Upside Down Cake", long name, delicious results. Also quick and easy! This cake is a must do for those deep dark chocolate lovers out there, but you should also love banana. Charisse does *not* love bananas. Actually she hates bananas, just the smell is enough to make her gag. Something to do with her dad leaving a banana under the seat of her car when she was younger, it rotting and stinking up the car for weeks. She is what we call "banana sensitive", she is able to detect even the slightest hint of the fruit hidden in anything you serve her. But since we were cooking Patrick and Monica's anniversary present dinner, and Patrick requested this cake, Charisse set aside her dislike of bananas. We were all very proud of her. Now banana slices covered in caramelized brown sugar and deep dark chocolate cake probably sounds amazing to almost everyone in the world, but Charisse was there picking off the slices and going for the dark, moist, and delicious chocolate cake underneath. And she calls Eric a picky eater (he is). Even with banana sensitivity at the table the Chocolate Carmel Banana Upside Down Cake was a hit. When Monica had seconds and then called the next morning wondering if there was any left, we knew we hit it just right. We did this upside down cake in a traditional 9 inch cake pan instead of the cast iron like the Pinapple Upside Down Cake.  Instead I made it in a traditional 9 inch cake pan.  Charisse cooked the caramel topping a bit longer than normal which made it somewhat crunchy, adding a fun texture that tasted great. And great taste is the whole point right?  

Pictures and Recipe after the break

Caramelized Topping
What you will need

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

Set the oven to 350*, grease up a 9" cake pan (or whatever it is you are using for this one, not too much bigger, or the cake will be too thin).

Start with a saucepan on medium-high, add the butter util it foams. While whisking, add the brown sugar. Once added, drop the heat to low and continue to whisk for 2 minutes. Smooth the mixture into the saucepan, making sure its smooth. Arrange the banana slices in a pretty pattern on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside. 

What you will need

3⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbs. flour
6 Tbs. unsweetened  cocoa powder
3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 cup  sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp.  vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup buttermilk

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the butter and sugar and cream in a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy, should be about 3 minutes.

Set the mixer to low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg is added. Crank the mixer back to high and beat for about 2 minutes. The cake-to-be should be light and airy, increased in volume. Add the vanilla while stirring.

Put the mixer back to low, while stirring add 1⁄3 of the flour mixture, then 1⁄2 of the buttermilk. Repeat this until all the flower and buttermilk has been added. Once you've scraped off the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to maximum and mix for 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the pan, over the bananas. Do this gently and make sure you get a nice even pour.

Bake 40 - 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Pull the pan out and let stand for 5 minutes or so. Set a plate on top of the pan, upside down, then while wearing oven mitts, hold the pan to the plate, and flip. Some of the fruit probably stuck to the bottom of the pan, so pick that off, and put it back on the cake, making sure it is arranged the way you want it. Let the cake cook, you can serve it warm after about 20 minutes, or later in the day at room temperature.

adapted from Fine Cooking

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