So this recipe for "Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake" has been haunting me for the past few weeks. And black bananas were beginning to pile up in my freezer, so I considered this to be a sign from the Baking Gods that the time had come to bake this cake. By the way, freezing bananas in a great way to keep them after they've gotten all black and ugly. When it comes time to use them, though, just unpeel, zap in the micro for a minute, and voila! You've got bananas that are ready to be whipped into something delicious.
As a warning, this cake is super super sweet. I didn't even use all of the sugar that the recipe called for, and I still needed a water chaser after eating a slice! The culprit of the intense sweetness-factor is the brown sugar-walnut glaze at the bottom of the pan, which is pictured above. The cake batter is dumped over this layer, and the gooey sweet topping is revealed when the cake is flipped over when cooled. Wow weee.....soooo so good. However, if you're not the hugest fan of super sweet desserts, mayhaps a dollop of whipped cream would help break up the sweetness. Also, important side note: this cake smells crazy delicious when baking! And when it comes out, you get...
...a delicious slab of yummy goodness. This cake was consumed in record time...48 hours among three girls! Pretty good, if I do say so myself. :)
Caramel Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, March 2008
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. dark corn syrup
3/4 cup walnut halves or pieces
1 3/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3 large)
3 tbsp. sour cream
1 tbsp. rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare topping: spray a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch high sides with nonstick cooking spray. Bring butter, sugar, and corn syrup to boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly until butter melts. Boil syrup 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Spread topping in prepared pan. Let topping cool completely.
Prepare cake: sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugars in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then mashed bananas, sour cream, rum, and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions just until combined. Spoon batter into pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Cut around cake. Place platter over pan. Holding pan and platter together, turn over. Let stand 5 minutes, then gently lift off pan. Cool at least 15 minutes for topping to set. Serve warm or at room temperature.