May 17, 2010
When I first saw the chocolate-caramel-banana upside down cake on The Food Librarian, I fell in love. I adore upside down cakes because of all their rich, sweet caramel soaking through the top, so making a chocolate cake and using thick slices of bananas on the top sounds like the perfectly heavenly cake. Sounds like the cake to make for Mother’s Day!
This cake certainly did not disappoint! It was quite the flavour combination: the chocolate cake was not overly rich, but moist with a still strong chocolate taste. However, all the caramel somewhat takes away from any strong chocolate flavour, making the chocolate a background note. The Food Librarian thought the original recipe was too sweet and would decrease the amount of sugar and butte topping, but I disagree; I thought it was the perfect amount! Upside-down cakes are supposed to be heavy on the caramel, and I thought the amount played wonderfully with the chocolate of the cake. As for the bananas, this cake had a great banana flavour. The bananas cooked their flavour down into the cake and across the caramel.
I served this warm with a dollop of caramel ice cream, and it was just divine. The next day, I ate a piece cold, and it was just as good, with a heavier, denser texture. Both ways, absolutely wonderful. If you are looking for a fun variation on the usual upside-down cake, then this is for you. If you just love chocolate, caramel and bananas, then this cake is great for that too. All in all, it is a simple cake to make and soooo good to eat.
Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake
adapted from The Food Librarian
1 stick butter
3/4 c light brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 c plus 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour
6 T (1/4 c plus 2T) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
2 t vanilla
2/3 c buttermilk (I just soured some normal milk with lemon juice)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9″ x 2″ cake pan.
2. Topping: Heat butter over medium heat until melted and foamy. Whisk in brown sugar, turn heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, for two minutes or until the mixture is thick. Spread on the bottom of the 9″ cake pan.
3. Arrange the bananas in a circle on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.
4. Sift together flour, cocoa, soda and salt.
5. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stir in vanilla.
6. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk (3 flour and 2 milk additions).
7. Scrape down the sides and then beat batter on high for 30 seconds.
8. Pour batter over the bananas and smooth out.
9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit on wire rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully invert onto your serving tray. Let sit at least 20 minutes before diving in.
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