Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside-down Cake

This recipe is definitely a keeper.   If you love caramel, banana and chocolate just exactly like I do, then this cake is seriously for you.  Bring this to any potluck gathering and I am positively sure this secret indulgence will be a crowd pleaser.

To me, chocolate especially dark rich chocolate just goes perfectly well with any ripe bananas.  These two ingredients really make good cakes as the flavour and aroma are just crazy.  More so, when the cake is drizzled with a slosh of caramel, oh my goodness gracious, the whole thing is just devilishly sublime.

Anyway, this recipe came to me by chance.  I was scouring around the net for a bak chang (Chinese dumpling) recipe when I accidentally spotted this secret.  I must thank Joyce of Kitchen Flavours for sharing this wonderful treat.  I strongly encourage that you visit her post here to view some close-up photos.  Indeed, looking at the photos was sufficient enough to make me go bananas.  I had to divert my ravenous eyes away (eerr from my bak chang recipe searching) and subsequently clicked in and explored the secret further.

I am pleased that I baked this cake as it helps to add on to my favourite and to-die-for collection of cake recipes.  The cake is chocolaty rich, moist and more importantly not overly sweet despite the caramel drizzle.  Wife likes it a lot and daughter loves it dearly too! But to me, it would have been even more perfect if I had added in some mashed bananas and chocolate chips into the cake batter, making the cake look even moister and taste more flavorsome.  Eerm, definitely going to try this the next round.

That's it, here you go, the recipe...  

Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside-Down Cake
(adapted from Joyce of "Kitchen Flavours")
Serves 8
For The Topping :
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

For The Cake :
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk (alternatively, you could also substitute it with 4-5 tablespoons milk and top up with homemade yoghurt to get 2/3 cup, as what Joyce had used)

Making the topping :
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round non-stick pan.
  2. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until foamy. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the banana slices in concentric circles on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.

Making The Cake :
  1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and increased in volume, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low, stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the batter on high speed for 30 seconds.
  5. Pour the batter over the bananas, gently spreading it into an even layer.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Holding the pan and a plate together with oven mitts, immediately invert the hot cake onto the plate. If necessary, replace any fruit stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, or serve at room temperature. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper, or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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