Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cakes were something that we had often when I was growing up.  A one layer cake that had its own topping, therefore there was no need for frosting.  The only kind my mom made was with pineapple;  I never considered that there was any other kind.  That may be true for many of you too, because it is only recently that I’ve been seeing recipes that use other kinds of fruits for the topping.

IMG_7346

When my Spring edition of the Baking Sheet arrived last week it contained this recipe for Banana Upside-down Cake.  And what a happy coincidence,  I had two bananas just at that ready to use stage of ripeness.  In addition to the bananas the topping also includes raisins or cranberries, and chopped nuts.  Playing on the banana/tropical theme some spiced rum is included in the topping and in the cake.  There is no alcohol content left after baking, but the rum does lend its flavor to the cake in a subtle way.

IMG_7332

It’s absolutely best to serve this cake while it is still warm, with a whipped cream topping or ice cream on the side if you’re feeling indulgent.  This was a nice change from the usual pineapple upside-down cake, and we enjoyed it very much.

IMG_7347

 

BANANA UPSIDE-DOWN  CAKE

Topping ingredients

Topping ingredients

 

Yield:    8 servings

Ingredients:

 Topping:

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

 Cake:

  • 1  1/2 cups Unbleached Cake Flour

    Cake ingredients

    Cake ingredients

  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum

Directions:

1.    Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep.  If you don’t have one, use a 9″ pan.

2.  For the topping:  Melt the butter.  Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and rum and stir until well combined.  Pour into the bottom of the pan and pat even.  Arrange bananas, raisins (or cranberries) and nuts over this and pat down gently.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

3.  For the cake:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream butter, oil and sugar thoroughly.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Add the flour mixture alternately with milk and rum to the creamed mixture, stirring and blending after each addition.  Gently pour the batter over the banana topping.

4.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake just begins to pull from the side of the pan.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning upside down on a serving plate.

IMG_7327

 

Turn out onto serving plate.

Turn out onto serving plate.

 

IMG_7333

 

Serve warm and enjoy.  YUM!

Serve warm and enjoy. YUM!

 

SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet,  King Arthur Flour

Advertisements

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread.  Waffles.  Think about those words, say them slowly out loud so you get the full impact.  Banana Bread Waffles!

IMG_4112

I know, they sound impossibly good don’t they?  Well,  just to let you know,  they are!  As usual when bananas are involved it all starts with a few over-ripe ones.  There they were lying sadly, neglected, past their prime.  What would YOU do with them?  Make banana bread most likely, and so would I.  Nothing too original there.  But I wasn’t in a baking mood, so all day I looked at them and felt guilty.  By evening I made up my mind that something must be done with them.  And since the next meal we would be eating would be breakfast and the next day was Saturday, waffles came to mind.

Waffles for breakfast.  What a treat!

Waffles for breakfast. What a treat!

Let me say at the start that they are not all that sweet.  I used a basic waffle recipe, added mashed banana, some sour cream and the typical spices used in banana bread.  The resulting waffle was crisp on the outside, with a thick and soft interior, a lot like the end piece from a loaf of banana bread.  I left the sweetness to be managed by the maple syrup added at the table.  For your further information, the leftover waffles were just great toasted and spread with a little peanut butter, a riff on the favorite Elvis Prestley sandwich!

BANANA BREAD WAFFLES

Yield:   about 6 round waffles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    Typical ingredients for banana bread.

    Typical ingredients for banana bread.

  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  •  pinch cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mashed banana ( about 3 medium )

1.  In a large bowl (A batter bowl works well because you can pour from it directly onto the waffle iron.), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, the spices and salt.  Whisk to combine well.

2.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, milk, sour cream and banana.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine, but do not over mix.

3.  Heat your waffle iron and bake the waffles as per the manufacturer’s directions until golden brown and crisp.

Bake in a heated waffle iron till brown and crispy.

Bake in a heated waffle iron till brown and crispy.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Add some butter and syrup at the table for a little added sweetness.

Add some butter and syrup at the table for a little added sweetness.

SOURCE:   Inspiration came from a variety of sources with the basic waffle recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

Cardamom Banana Bread with Pistachios

Cardamom Banana Bread with pistachios.

Cardamom Banana Bread with pistachios.

I like to use a variety of herbs and spices in my cooking.  I love the way they enhance or give subtle flavor to a dish.  They can turn the ordinary or mundane into something exotic and interesting at very little expense.  So following on the heels of yesterday’s post on ginger, today I want to focus on cardamom.

Cardamom is a pod consisting of a pale outer shell which has tiny seeds inside it.  It is the seeds that have an intense flavor, but they need to be crushed or ground before use. Ground cardamom is used mostly in baking where its flavor is readily recognized in the baked goods of Scandinavian countries, especially breads, stollen, cookies and buns.

Two varieties of cardamom:  whole pods and ground.

Two varieties of cardamom: whole pods and ground.

Cardamom is available in white, black and green forms. It is the white form that we are most familiar with and that which is commonly used in baked goods.  In India, however, the black and green forms are important ingredients in meat and vegetable dishes.  Black cardamom has a unique smokey flavor, and it is used mainly in curries.

If you have never used cardamom, this recipe will provide an introduction, without being overwhelming.  The bread will taste like the banana bread you know, but the cardamom will be a stand-in for vanilla.  Finely chopped pistachio nuts will provide the crunch.  This bread is not a very sweet bread so it is pleasant with coffee or tea for breakfast.  Keep this recipe in mind when you are faced with 2 or 3 really ripe (read, black ) bananas—the best kind for baking!  I love this recipe because you can mix it all by hand….no need to get out the mixer.   It’s so quick to mix up and pop in the oven while dinner is cooking,  and be cooled and ready for a snack before bedtime.  OOPS,  I’m giving away my secrets!

CARDAMOM BANANA BREAD WITH PISTACHIOS

YIELD:    1  9″ x 5  loaf

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

    Mix together the dry ingredients.

    Mix together the dry ingredients.

  • 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups sugar  (I used 1 cup, but if you like a sweeter bread use the 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom    If you like cardamom, this amount can be increased up to 1 teaspoon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 350*   Lightly grease or spray a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

2.  In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients.  ( flour through salt )

3.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, sour cream and banana.

Everything in two bowls; mix by hand.

Everything in two bowls; mix by hand.

4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix partially.  Add in the pistachios and finish mixing, without over mixing.  This keeps the bread light instead of heavy and dense.

5.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350* for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Banana bread, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

Banana bread, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light.