Friday, March 25, 2011

Banana-Caramel Cake

This cake is a CRAZY amount of work.

I got it from my go-to Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, and what's so wonderful about it is (unfortunately) the part you can't see. Between the two layers of banana cake are caramelized bananas. Sort of like bananas foster in a cake.

You start by making two 9-inch layers of banana cake. One tip I learned in a baking class is that if you're making banana bread, mash the bananas chunky, but if you're making a cake or cupcakes, you want to puree the bananas into a cream. The cake has sour cream in it as well, to keep it moist.

Next caramelize sugar in a skillet, add butter, then sautee 3 bananas, sliced, until they're browned on both sides.

Place the bananas on top of the bottom layer of cake, then cover with the top layer. Frost the outside with a mascarpone cheese frosting (1 pound cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 1/4 cups heavy cream), and then drizzle with caramel sauce.

The original recipe is too long to print here, but here are the ingredients for the cake, which you bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Beat together:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup sugar

Add, one at a time:
4 large eggs

Sift together:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together:
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (plus another 3 to make the bananas foster)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar first, then add the eggs one at a time, then add the flour mixture, and finally fold in the banana mixture.

You can see the process here.

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