Thursday, September 21, 2006

Banana Upside-Down Cake

This recipe comes from Patrick Clark, a chef trained in the French tradition and was the Winner of the James Beard Award for best Mid-Atlantic Chef in 1995.


2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups sliced ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 banana, cut in small wedges

InstructionsTo prepare the bananas:Combine the lime juice, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. the lemon zest, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar in a small bowl. Wrap the bottoms of eight 2 1/2-inch-diameter by 1 1/2-inch-high ring molds with aluminum foil. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of each ring mold and arrange the banana slices in a pinwheel over the sugar.

To prepare the cake:Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Cream 1/4 cup of the butter and the granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well until blended. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir in the milk. Pour over the bananas and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To prepare the sauce:Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a pan. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sugar is melted. Add the banana wedges and cook for 2 minutes.

Invert a cake in the center of each plate. Remove the ring mold and spoon the sauce over and around the cake. Arrange the banana wedges around the cake. For a taste variation try using maple syrup instead of brown sugar.

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