I don’t like bananas. The picture in the cookbook looked so incredibly luscious, I just had to make this cake. And I reasoned that a little sticky caramel sauce would make everything taste incredibly good. Boy, do I hate to say these words: I was right. The cake is airy and light, it has pieces of banana in it, but it’s not densely packed with them. The crunchy exterior of the cake gives a nice contrast to the soft inside and the cake itself isn’t extremely sweet, so the caramel sauce brings a good balance to it. So even me, a banana-disliker, liked this cake. After taking a piece of my own, I placed the cake on the kitchen table of my student house and left it there to be judged by my housemates. When I entered the kitchen the next morning there was only an empty plate and a dirty knife left.
Recipe from Bourke Street Bakery: the ultimate baking companion.
In the big messy state my room was in, I couldn’t find my 28 cm cake tin. I’ve used the biggest I could find, which is a 24 cm cake tin. I had the cake in the oven way longer than the recipe states, cause the smaller tin made it longer to bake, but it turned out pretty well.
I forgot to poke the forty holes, otherwise I think the caramel would’ve gotten into the cake even more. The middle of the cake cracked in the oven and this created the perfect crater for the caramel sauce to drip into the cake.
250 g butter
355 g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
200 g sour cream
300 g self-raising flour, sifted
2-3 ripe bananas
20 g golden syrup or brown sugar
200 ml whipping cream
100 ml water
300 g sugar
80 g butter
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Grease a 28 cm round cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper – the paper should protrude about 2,5 cm above the tin.
Put the butter and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and scrape in the vanilla seeds. Whisk on low-speed until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each to be completely incorporated before adding more. Add the sour cream in to batches, then add the flour in two batches until combined.
Lightly mash the bananas and drizzle with golden syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar. Fold the mashed banana lightly through the cake mixture to combine, then spoon into the tin. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cover the top of the cake loosely with tin foil if it starts to brown.
Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, pour the cream into a saucepan over high heat and bring it almost to boiling point. Put the water and sugar in a large saucepan over high heat. Do not stir, only move the pan a little bit if you want to mix the syrup a bit. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until the liquid is a caramel color. Pay careful attention, in the beginning the color changes very slowly, but from the moment it starts to color it changes very vast. There’s only a thin line between nicely caramalized and bitter & burnt. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot cream into the pan with caramel. Be careful cause the mixture will bubble up the side of the saucepan to about four times its original volume. Now you can stir. If there are lumps in the caramel place it on low heat and stir until the lumps have dissolved. Remove from the heat (or keep it from the heat) and stir in the butter and add the pinch of salt.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a nice platter. To serve poke about forty holes into the cake using a skewer and pour the caramel sauce over the top while the cake is still warm.