Banana Cake with Caramel Sauce

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    16

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

At home, if there are too many ripe bananas in the fruit bowl they usually end up in this cake. If time allows, make the caramel sauce and pour over the cake, however the cake is fine to eat on its own. The recipe for the caramel sauce is more than enough for the cake (making a smaller amount can become quite difficult without burning) and will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 week — it also makes a great topping for ice cream. At Bourke Street Bakery we also use the caramel as a base in the chocolate tart. Warm it over low heat to bring it back to pouring consistency after refrigeration. The addition of glucose syrup helps to stop the sugar crystallising, but it is optional.

Ingredients

Banana Cake

  • 250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter
  • 355 g (12½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) sour cream
  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2–3 ripe bananas
  • 20 g (¾ oz) golden syrup or soft brown sugar

Caramel Sauce

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) pouring (whipping) cream (35% fat)
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) water
  • 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) liquid glucose (optional)
  • 80 g ( oz) unsalted butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Grease a 28 cm (11¼ inch) round cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper — the paper should protrude about 2.5 cm (1 inch) 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 two 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 baking paper 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, sugar and glucose syrup, if using, in a large saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir and cook for about 7–10 minutes, or until the liquid is a caramel colour. Remove from the heat (it will still go a little darker, so take care not to let it get too dark before removing it from the heat).

Pour the hot cream into the pan with the caramel, being careful, as the mixture will bubble up the side of the saucepan to about four times its original volume. Place it back on the heat and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat, cool a little, then whisk in the butter.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a large 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.