Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Ultimate Banana Cake

I love Banana cake, it brings me straight back primary school, my mother would pick me up and give me a warm foil parcel filled with banana bread, I think I fell in love with banana cake even more when I travelled through Australia in my early twenties, I had banana bread most mornings with a super caffeine charged espresso. I have spent along time trying to come up with the perfect banana bread, and I feel that I have achieved the perfect recipe, this is an adaptation of that recipe, this is banana bread on crack. It is almost a tarte tartin meets banana bread meets upside down cake, it was truly amazing, perfect for banana junkies. 

You will need:
200g of insanely ripe bananas, use totally blackened bananas
300ml of Soured cream
2 large free range eggs
200g of light Muscovado sugar
50g of caster sugar
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground Ginger
1 tsp of All Spice
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
100g of melted butter
275g of self raising flour
1/2 tsp of maldon salt
50g of salted Almonds
100g of Dark chocolate 
1 tsp of plain flour

For the syrup base:
2 bananas
100g caster sugar
40ml of Amaretto 
1/2 tsp of maldon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees c, line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form cake tin with a disc of greaseproof and butter the sides. In a frying pan heat the amaretto and caster sugar for the syrup until it is a golden brown colour, add the salt and swirl the pan to combine, do not stir this as it will crystallise. Pour the syrup into the cake pan and swirl it over the bottom of the cake tin until the base is fully covered. Cut your bananas (however you like) and place the banana onto the syrup until the base is covered.
For the cake batter mash the banana thoroughly and combine with the eggs, soured cream, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, vanilla, sugars, salt, baking powder, bicarb and cream of tartar together in a bowl and set aside until it bubbles. Meanwhile chop the chocolate and Almonds into rough pieces and toss in the teaspoon of flour until fully coated, this will ensure the chocolate and nuts will not sink to the bottom of the cake. In a small pan melt the butter until golden brown (this will add more flavour to the cake). Sieve in the flour to the banana mixture and fold it in carefully until just combined, then add the melted butter and floured chocolate and nuts. 
Do not over mix the batter, you will stretch the gluten in the flour which will toughen the cake up. Decant the batter onto the syrup and sliced bananas and bake in the oven for 30-35 mins until you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean. Invert the cake and dust with icing sugar.

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