This recipe has been floating around in the ugly binder for a couple of years and every so often I look at it and decide that I'll give it a go another time. That time finally arrived over the weekend when we had my parents round for dinner. I wanted to try something new for dessert and this seemed to fit the bill nicely.
The cake was a heap easier to make and assemble than I'd expected and it also tasted seriously good as well as looking like I'd spent hours slaving over it. It was a big hit with all of us and I'm planning to make it again as soon as I can find an excuse to. It's obviously a 'cheat's version' with the tin of caramel and if you wanted to spend hours more putting this together so you could feel fabulously superior for making every part of it from scratch go right ahead. For my money, and bearing in mind that I've burnt every batch of caramel I've tried to make in the last 12 or so months, this is spot on.
A couple of pointers that I'll keep in mind for next time: try not to make the bottom layer too thick or you end up with a big chunk of cake , do assemble this ahead of time so that the flavours have time to soak through a little but, pull it out of the fridge ahead of serving so it has a chance to get back to room temperature and you can get the full power of the flavours in the cake.
Banana Caramel Layer Cake
Australian Women's Weekly, March 2007
185g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (3 medium over-ripe bananas)
2 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup milk.
3/4 cup thickened cream
380g can caramel Top 'n' Fill*
1 large banana, sliced thinly
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180C. Grease and lightly flour an 8-cup (24cm) bundt pan.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time; beat until just combined, then beat in mashed banana. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Stir in sifted flour and soda, then stir in milk. Spread mixture into prepared pan.
4. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes; turn onto a wire rack to cool. Allow cake to cool completely.
5. Cut cool cake into 3 layers. Spread base of cake with one-third of the caramel, top with about two-thirds of the cream and banana slices. Repeat with next layer using half the remaining the caramel and all the remaining cream and banana slices. Replace top of cake.
6. In a small bowl, whisk remaining caramel with approximately 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Drizzle cake with caramel mixture.
*Top 'n' Fill is a very thick caramel filling available in supermarkets. It's usually near the tins of sweetened condensed milk.