Now that Mardi Gras is upon us, I'm seeing recipes for Bananas Foster everywhere. That started me thinking about where that delicious combination of bananas, brown sugar and rum could be used. There's a recipe all over the net for Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake that originated with Southern Living. They know their sweet Southern recipes! But it wasn't quite what I had in mind, so I dared to create my own. I was very pleased with the results.
The brown sugar and banana part is fairly standard, I think. I found the recipe for the original Bananas Foster at Brennan's in New Orleans here, should you feel like trying it.
I wanted to get that lively banana flavor and texture into the cake part, so I used one banana. I went back and forth about butter vs. oil, but in the end, I used a mild flavored olive oil to keep the moistness. Besides, there's half a stick of butter in the Foster part.
This is almost a dump cake. Very quick and easy to make. Just be careful when you add the batter to the pan. Use a large cooking spoon to add the batter around the outside edges first, then build toward the middle. Otherwise, the bananas might move, and you'll end up with a bald spot like I did.
I think this would be fabulous served warm for a brunch. Good for afternoon tea or snack time, too!
1 12-inch iron skillet
1/4 cup oil (mild olive oil or canola oil)
1 average size ripe banana
milk (see recipe for amount)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons rum (dark would be traditional, but I used light)
Measure the oil in a one-cup measure and pour into a mixing bowl. Using the same measuring cup, mash one banana in it with a fork. Add enough milk to fill the cup to 3/4 cup. Pour into mixing bowl and mix. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix. Add the egg and the sugar and mix well. Add the flour 1/3 cup at a time. Finally add the vanilla and beat. It will be fairly thick.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Place the iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter, and add the brown sugar and the rum. Stir a few times to combine. Remove from heat.
Slice the bananas and add them to the skillet in a single layer. Use a large spoon to top the bananas with the cake batter. Start on the outside and work your way in so you won't dislodge the bananas.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 6 minutes. Top with a plate and flip. Replace any dislodged bananas. They're very easy to stick back on the cake.
Serve warm or cold.
|Add the banana slices to the pan.|
|Carefully spoon on the batter and smooth.|
|Let rest 6 minutes before flipping onto a platter.|
|Add the batter around the edges first to avoid bald spots like this!|