For a Perfect Afternoon Tea ~ Banana Upside Down Cake

I can't say that Upside down cakes are a staple around here. Though mind you, Mr. Hubby does love the pineapple version of it provided it's made from scratch.

But lately, I've been seeing versions of the banana upside-down cake quite a lot all over the blogosphere. So Afternoon Tea seemed like a perfect time to make one to go with Ham & Tarragon finger sandwiches.

I also found ripe red bananas that remind of smaller sweeter plantains that I decided to use. Mind you, if I have to make this again, I'll probably just end up using organic yellow bananas because Mr. Hubby buys them each week like they're going out of fashion, so I almost always have plenty of these lying around.

The whole thing takes no more than an hour to put together so it is perfect for a lazy Sunday.

As always, I'm using my staple cake recipe that never lets me down and I only ever use the thick pure Vanilla bean paste - none of that extract business for me. And you can forget about the imitation nonsense. Feel free to forgo the rum or Marsala.

I used some only because I had the Marsala lying around the house. I do however recommend using a cast-iron skillet. It retains all that excellent uniform heat and bakes the whole thing quicker and perfectly.

So if you're like me and are always looking for clever ways to use bananas, I think you'll like this one a lot.



Recipe for:

Banana Upside Down Cake

Shopping list:

For the banana topping:

4 tbs. butter, unsalted

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup + 2 tbs. packed  brown suga

1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste 1 tbsp Marsala or rum 4-5 medium ripe bananas, (about 1-1/4 lbs) - red or yellow

For the cake:

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted softened butter

3/4 cup regular granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.

Banana: Peel and discard the threads. Also, cut away the ends. If using red bananas, they are small enough that you can slice lengthwise into 2 halves and set aside. If using long yellow bananas, cut into pieces and then slit lengthwise into halves.

Eggs: Crack into a bowl. Discard the shells and beat with a fork until homogeneous.

Dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, in a small bowl and set aside.

For the topping:

heat the butter, brown sugar, salt in a 10-inch cast iron skillet on the stovetop.

Stir until the butter and sugar are liquefied and start to bubble.

Remove from heat and stir in the Marsala or rum. Add the pure vanilla bean paste and set aside.

Arrange the bananas cut side down in the pan.

For the cake: