Sunday, January 9, 2011

Banana Caramel Cake



For Christmas, I got my girlfriend a cookbook, The Essence of Chocolate because she is a choco-holic.  Well we decided to try out a recipe from this book and decided to try the Banana Caramel Cake. It is basically a banana bread like cake with chunks of chocolate (have to sneak some chocolate in there since it was from a book called The Essence of Chocolate!) and then the thing that really makes this recipe stand out is the addition of a caramel crust that is poured over and inside the cake.  Overall this was a pretty easy recipe to make.



Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Take a Bundt pan and grease with butter or nonstick spray and dust with flour.



For the cake:
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (fresh ground if you have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of canola oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1/2 cup of toasted pecans (optional)
  • 3 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped into coarse chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups of diced ripe bananas, about 2 bananas

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt,  and baking soda.

  
 Fresh ground nutmeg isn't crucial, but I had some on hand, and if you've got it, use it.


In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and almond extract and mix with either a stand mixer and and hand mixer, whatever you have with you.  I am partial to my stand mixer.




Once the "wet" ingredients are combined to about the consistency and color of a lemon meringue.  Slowly add the "dry" ingredients into the wet at about a 1/2 cup at a time, just enough so that when you add the dry it doesn't go flying all over your kitchen.


Once that batter comes together, coarsely chop your 3 ounces of chocolate and dice 1 1/2 cups of banana.  If your bananas aren't very ripe, you can put them in a brown paper bag for a couple hours and they will begin to brown up nicely.  Fold both the banana and chocolate into the batter.  Pour the batter into your floured bundt pan and cook for 50 minutes to an hour.



helps to promote browning






A special thanks to my sous chef!


The thing that really sets this cake apart is the addition of homemade caramel.  Not only do you cover the top of the cake but you take a skewer and poke holes so that the caramel can soak deep down into the cake.  Once the cake is about 10 minutes away from being finished, start to make the caramel.  You just want to make sure that the caramel doesn't cool and harden before you are able to pour it.

Caramel:

  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add in the butter, brown sugar, and milk.  Stir frequently making sure that it doesn't harden or burn.






Once the cake is finished, take a large skewer, I used the ones I normally use for chicken spiedini, and poke several holes into the cake.  Now pour the caramel all over the cake letting it seep into the cake.  Allow to cool so that the caramel has a chance to harden, creating a delicious sweet crust.



poking holes!



Now while we were cooking, we got hungry.  So threw together some turkey, swiss cheese, and homemade BBQ sauce (more on that later) and put it in a Cuisinart panini press. Delicious

12 comments:

  1. I can attest that this is good eating. It's rich, but not too heavy. It has a banana bread texture on the inside and the exterior crust holds everything together well and gives it a little crunch.

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  2. This cake/bread sounds seriously delicious...chocolate, bananas, and caramel?! MMM!

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  3. That looks absolutely yummy and love all the photos! Thanks for posting. Will have to make it very soon!
    Kathleen

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  4. banana bread lover here...can't wait to try this! Sharing on Facebook...

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  5. This looks absolutely delicious - love the caramel twist on the classic. What a flavour combination!

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  6. That looks divine!!!! I'm drooling!!!

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  7. Looks delicious! Could you use chocolate chips instead? I don't have any bar chocolate on hand...

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  8. Megan, You absolutely could use chocolate chips instead of a bar chopped. As long as it's a good quality chocolate, like a ghirardelli chocolate, you would substitute just fine and even save you some labor.

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  9. Looks fantastic!

    Just a question: I'm allergic to almonds, so I don't think almond extract is an option. Reckon it'll taste alright if I just make up the excess with vanilla extract?

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  10. This looks pretty amazing! I sometimes make this banana cake, which has flambéd bananas, and good doses of bourbon and sour cream…

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