Saturday, April 10, 2010

Banana & Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

I LOVE chocolate. I dislike most candies, so ever since I was little, the only sweets I would eat have been mostly chocolate. I also love bananas; I bring them to school every day as part of my lunch. When David Lebovitz blogged about his upside down banana & chocolate cake, I knew I had to try it. I waited until I had bananas that were ripe enough, but I only had 2 in such a condition, so I had to get a bunch more of extra ripe bananas from the store. Luckily I was able to find some amongst a sea of still-green bananas!

This cake was very easy to make, and no mixer was required (my favourite kind of recipes!). I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream because I needed yogurt for another recipe I wanted to try, but I don't think it would have made much of a difference. The result was very moist and full of banana flavour with chocolate chunks studded in every bite. Although my sister complained that there was a little too much chocolate (absurd, I know), my boyfriend & I loved it. It was good on its own but I can imagine it would be even better served with vanilla ice cream, as per David's suggestion.

Banana Chocolate Chip Upside-Down Cake
makes one 8-inch (20 cm) square cake
recipe from David Lebovitz

For the topping:
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
3-4 ripe medium bananas
a few drops of lemon juice

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup banana puree (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80 g) chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1. Make the topping: place brown sugar & water in an 8-inch square cake pan. Warm the pan on the stove top over low heat and stir until sugar is thoroughly moistened. Simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1 cm slices. Arrange them on top of the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, banana puree, yogurt, and vanilla.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.

7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter evenly.

8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it.

9. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.


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