Thursday, February 25, 2010

Banana Cake with Broiled Caramel Topping (Neighbour Cake)

This recipe is from The Complete Harrowsmith Cookbook (Best Ever Banana Cake.) Our neighbour, who otherwise eschews sweets, likes it so much we now call it Neighbour Cake.



1/2 C Butter
1 1/2 C white sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 C (plus) mashed ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C buttermilk

Caramel Topping (This is 1.5 times the amount called for in the original recipe.)
1/2 C chopped pecans (or shredded coconut)
4 1/2 Tbsp melted butter (no substitutions)
3/4 C brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and white sugar together, then beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Bake in greased and floured 9"x9" pan at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes. (I check it after 40 minutes - it's usually done, maybe because I often bake it in two smaller foil pans.) I once got this far reading one of my aunt's recipes where it said, "Remove from oven."Your call.

Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients. Spread over warm cake in pan and brown under broiler until bubbling. If you think you might start clean-up while the cake is under the broiler, I would advise against it. The nuts can burn very, very quickly. Besides, it's kind of fun to watch those bubbles appear. I've made this countless times and I can attest that the longer you can broil it without burning, the better. I keep rotating and moving the pan around for a couple of minutes, watching the nuts for signs of burning with an eagle eye. Eagle eye not included in recipe.

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