This month I offer a recipe that intrigued me a long time ago: Upside-Down Banana Cake. I discovered this recipe on the website of one of my favourite foodies, David Lebovitz. He taught me how to make caramel. Since then I adore his detailed descriptions of procedures in the kitchen.
I love the classic upside-down cake: Tarte Tatin
I was intrigued by the recipe because I love Tarte Tatin. This classic version of an upside-down cake from France is an unattainable recipe for me here in India. It requires puff pastry, which is not available readymade here. In Europe you can buy frozen puff pastry in every supermarket.
For years now I want to try my hand on puff pastry. It is one of these things – like tempering chocolate – that I would like to learn. However, there is not a real need for these skills in my household and there always seem so many things to do. I guess, many of you know what I am talking about.
Plain atta and coconut oil instead of teff flour
Daniel Lebovitz uses a fancy kind of flour for his cake called teff. It is made from a small seed plant in Ethiopia. I simply replaced it with good, old atta from my supermarket around the corner. As fat for the dough I used coconut oil. For the caramel sauce I used lovely organic raw sugar from India.
My husband and son loved the banana cake. I was not so convinced – it tastes nice, but is a far cry from Tarte Tatin.
Wishing you all happy cooking!
Kornelia Santoro with family
Upside-Down Banana Cake
Ingredients ( for a skillet with a diameter of 25 cm or 10 inches):
For the dough:
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 table spoon ground cinnamon
1 table spoon vanilla essence
1 pinch of salt
For the topping:
60 grams salted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 table spoon rum
You need a skillet with a thick bottom, that is transmitting the heat evenly. For the topping, place the butter with the sugar in the pan. Let the butter melt over medium heat.
Keep stirring the butter and sugar, until you see the sugar crystals melting. This takes quite a while. During this process, the mixture will darken. Be careful not to burn the sugar through a high flame.
When the sugar crystals have melted, add the rum to the mixture. This will provoke quite a volatile reaction. Keep stirring until you have a smooth mixture. Let the caramel sauce cool down.
Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and place it in the form of a cross into the skillet. Peel the bananas, halve them lengthwise und cut them into two pieces. Place the banana pieces onto the caramel sauce.
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
For the dough combine all the dry ingredients first and mix them well with a spoon.
Add the eggs, the coconut oil, the milk, the ground cinnamon, the vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. Mix everything well and pour the rather liquid dough over the bananas.
Bake the cake in the oven for around 35 to 40 minutes. A tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
Take the cake from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Place a plate on top of the skillet and turn over the cake. Enjoy!