I had the chance to peruse The Baker a couple of weeks back, and as much as I adored the narrow depth-of-field composition and rustic homely styling, I must admit that I wasn’t as impressed by the few recipes I’ve tried as I was with the in-depth baking troubleshooting pointers it included in every chapter. And for that, most nights I ended up with the book on my lap, just reading through the detailed explanations behind common mistakes of perceived failed bakes;– an undeniably great appealing factor to both novice and experienced bakers, and perhaps, concurrently the book’s saving grace.
Amongst the less-than-a-handful recipes that actually tasted as good as they looked on the page was this upside-down banana cake. I considered it my last attempt to justify the immaculate photography with two thoughts in mind;– first, you can’t go wrong with banana cake, and second, I thought I’d give the bananas a different treatment than the much-loved 9 by 5 and the nondescript no-frills take. Even though you can’t really see the ‘upside-down’ treatment here (I only had two bananas for topping, so I had them sliced instead of halved), the cake was moist and fluffy, with a deep banana flavour enhanced by the brown sugar.
Upside-Down Banana Cake
(adapted from Leanne Kitchen’s The Baker)
50g butter, melted
60g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
bananas, halved lengthwise
125g butter, softened
230g brown sugar
185g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease an 8-inch round cake tin.
- To prepare the banana topping, pour the melted butter over the base of the prepared tin and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Arrange the bananas in a single layer over the base of the tin. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, and lightlyfold in the flour into the butter mixture with the mashed banana.
- Spoon the batter over the banana slices in the cake tin.
- Bake for 45mins or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.