Upsidedown Hazelnut Banana Cake

One of my first baking experiences with out my mom was banana bread. I was in art school away from home for the first time and of course, a vegetarian. I worked at a vegetarian restaurant and did some baking for it while I waitressed making $2.00 an hour plus $2.00 worth of food off the menu. I?d order a salad for $1.25 and my boyfriend Brian would come up to my work and eat the other .75 in a carob sundae?and that?s all we could afford to eat all day! I also would pick dandelions out of the cemetery near our apartment while walking home from college to our apartment (we couldn?t afford a car) and would cook them with onion soup boullion for our dinner. I weighed 112 then?In my hand-written recipe books, it?s the first recipe I ever wrote, so me and banana bread go way back. This one is dressed up with an ooooy gooooy nutty caramel top of brown sugar and butter which help slowly baste the banana slices as they bake in the oven. Pineapple upside down-cake move over!

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: All About Brown Sugar
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr
 
YIELD: 8 to 10 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1/3 pound hazelnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup banana puree, from 1 or 2 bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Hazelnut schmear, recipe follows
  • Whole bananas
    • Equipment: 9-inch cake pan
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      Directions

      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the cake pan.

      Toast the nuts and let them cool completely.

      In a food processor, grind the nuts with the sugar until very fine.

      Using a hand-held mixer, cream the butter; then add the sugar mixture. Add the eggs and mix. Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir. Mix in the banana puree. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt to make a smooth batter.

      To bake, cover the bottom of the cake pan with some of the warmed hazelnut schmear (microwave 40 seconds or so). Fan some banana slices over it and spoon in the batter.
      Bake until just set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Keep warm in a low oven and turn it out at the last minute.
      Hazelnut Schmear:
      3/4 cup butter
      1/2 pound dark brown sugar
      1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

      Melt the butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the brown sugar and the nuts. Store in the refrigerator.

      Yield: about 2 cups

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      • on October 11, 2011

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        I made this cake yesterday. It was delicious. To mzdazy, I also used a 9" cake pan & yes it over flowed, but when I poured the batter into the pan I saw it came all the way to the top, so I put a cookie sheet underneath it. I feel mine came to the top because, I had too many bananas & possibly a little too much smear. Anyway I kept sticking a toothpick in the middle of till it came out pretty clean. It turned out great. Good luck next time. Debby

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      • on October 08, 2011

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        Just made this cake (it's 10pm, and it didn't cook all the way through. It flowed over the pan in the oven (causing a smoke-filled oven, and when I flipped it, the top (bottom was raw! I'll try it again but a 9" pan was too small. Too bad, I was making it for a church potluck tomorrow morning.

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