Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Banana Cake

Sometimes eating bananas smothered in peanut butter is 100% necessary.

Sometimes tossing bananas in creamy caramel is required.

Combining all of these things in a cake is a bit gluttonous.

...And having the word "banana" twice in the name of a cake is ridiculous.

I did it anyway.

I like all of these things - caramel, bananas, caramelized bananas and peanut butter. There's no reason why I should suffer by leaving any of them out.

This Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Banana Cake is bonkers.

First I sliced a couple of bananas into coins. Then I made some caramel and let the coins hang out in the caramel for a few seconds before pouring the whole bunch into the bottom of a round cake pan. This is going to be the top of your cake once you invert it onto a plate.

Then I stirred up a banana cake made with creamy peanut butter, mashed banana and cinnamon. I poured this batter over the bananas and baked it all in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. That's my exclusive chocolate-chopping cutting board, hence the dark markings. I guess it's not so exclusive anymore...

The moisture from the caramel almost allows the cake to steam as it bakes and the gooey caramel gets really rich as it bubbles around the edges. This also creates a crunchy crust all the way around the cake - that's my favourite part and I am currently drooling. Seriously, I just had to swallow.

So what you end up with is a layer of caramelized bananas bathed in warm caramel atop a dense, moist banana cake that's similar to banana bread and infused with peanut butter.

I prefer to use a neutral cooking oil such as peanut oil or high-oleic sunflower oil instead of butter in this recipe. Since the texture of this cake is really dense and oil is liquid at room temperature, it helps to make sure it stays nice and moist.

Now, peanut oil is great because we're already using peanut butter in the recipe. Duh. But, it is also high in monunsaturated fats which puts it at a lower risk of becoming rancid.

The rancid odours and taste of oil is due to exposure with heat, light and oxygen. Oils that are highly unsaturated (such as polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil) are great for your heart, but they go rancid very quickly and then become laden with free radicals which are not so great for your heart.  So give your oil a smell every one in a while and make sure it's stayin' fresh - not funky.

In the meantime, make sure you store it in a cool, dry, dark place and use it to make this peanut buttery banana cake!

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