Happy Halloween from those of us here at Blue Cayenne.
Juliet, our chief quality officer, is particularly into the Halloween party mood today. She is all dressed up in her frilly Halloween collar and can’t wait until the doorbell starts ringing tonight. Did I mention that Juliet is the most social pup on the planet? She loves everybody–even the little ghouls and goblins who venture out on Halloween dressed as Moana or Jack Sparrow or Big Bird. The way Juliet sees it, it’s all good.
While you are passing out Milky Way bars to the trick-or-treaters, why not make this pretty banana-cardamom upside down cake for yourself? No costume required. Well, maybe an apron. If any of the little goblins ask, you can tell them that you are dressed in honor of Julia Child. That should get you either stares of incomprehension or “just give me the candy, lady” tantrums.
This wonderful little cake is a cinch to make. You are in and out in about an hour.
- Banana Topping:
- 4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 C. packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 t. kosher salt
- 2 firm-ripe bananas (peeled and sliced)
- Cake Batter:
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
- 6 T. (3/4 stick)unsalted butter (cubed and at room temperature)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 bananas (peeled and mashed)
- 3/4 C. sour cream or yogurt or a combination (preferably full fat)
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 3/4 t. baking powder
- 1 1/4 t. ground cardamom
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- Chopped roasted walnuts (optional-to garnish)
- High quality vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Using a 10 inch cast iron skillet, melt butter and stir in the brown sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter and salt are completely combined (1-2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat.
- Cut the bananas in half crosswise and then slice the halves lengthwise into thirds. Arrange the banana slices (cut side down) on top of the butter/sugar mixture in the skillet.
- Set up your stand mixer with the paddle attached. Mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, and soft butter and mix (on high) until light and fluffy. This will take 3-5 minutes. Reduce the speed of your mixer to medium and mix in the eggs (one-by-one). Then, add the mashed bananas, sour cream (or yogurt), and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Slowly (and carefully) mix these dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl with the wet ingredients. When these ingredients are well mixed, pour the batter over the caramel and bananas in the cast iron skillet. Smooth the top.
- Set the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. This will bake 40-45 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven and cool completely. When the cake is totally cool, run a butter knife around the edge of the cake. Then, set the skillet back on the stovetop over very low heat and warm the cake until it is just barely warm on the bottom (about 2 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully invert the cake onto your serving platter.
- Serve garnished with chopped walnuts and a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream. (Why not try the vanilla ice cream recipe on Blue Cayenne? It is delicious and easy to make.)
This recipe was adapted from one by Gail Simmons that appeared on The Splendid Table website. Here is the link: Gail Simmons’ Banana-Cardamom Upside Down Cake