Friday, October 18, 2013

Banana Upside Down Cake

When I originally made the Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends, I thought it might also be delicious if made with bananas. I happened to have a bunch of perfectly ripe bananas and was jonesin' for some cake, so it happened. And it was good.

What I did not have was a full cup of toffee bits, so I compensated with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. I also didn't have any plain yogurt, but I did have a cup of So Delicious Dairy-Free Cultured Almond Milk. "So Delicious" is a complete and utter lie--cultured almond milk is weird and bitter and has a funky texture, plus, it's brown. Brown yogurt is just not all that appetizing, you know? But the stuff made a fine substitute for the real thing.

I also remembered to put the cake on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch the dribbles of caramel that ooze out of the corner of the pan. Saved me some scrubbing later!

Banana Toffee Upside-Down Cake (adapted from Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends)

3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, 4 tablespoons sliced, 8 at room temperature
1 cup toffee bits (I used Heath Bits 'O' Brickle baking pieces)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350F.

Slice two of the bananas and mash the third banana. Set bananas aside.

Melt the 4 tablespoons of sliced butter in an 8x8 or 9x9 square cake pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the toffee bits evenly into the pan. Arrange the  reserved sliced bananas in rows over the toffee bits.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and 8 tablespoons of room temperature butter with an electric mixer set to high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and the mashed banana, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the yogurt in 2 equal additions, mixing until just smooth after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter over the bananas in the pan. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a large plate over the pan, and, using pot holders, invert the pan and plate together to unmold the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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