February 28, 2011

Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding

The brand new issue of bon appetit arrived last week, and an instant family favorite was born! 

toffee sauce
1 1/4 plus 3 T heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 unsalted butter
banana cake
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (approx. 3)
1 T dark rum
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
sliced banana as garnish

For toffee sauce: Bring 1 1/4 cups cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and 1/8 tsp salt to boil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook at gentle boil until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  Whisk in 3 T or more cream to thin sauce to desired consistency.  Can be done ahead, up to two days.  Cover and chill, rewarm slightly before serving. 

For banana cake: preheat oven to 350 f. Butter 8x8x2 nonstick metal baking pan.  Dust baking pan with flour, tapping out excess.  Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in medium bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Beat in mashed bananas, rum, and vanilla (batter will look curdled).  Add dry ingredients in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition.  Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 38 minutes.  Spread 1/2 cup toffee sauce evenly over cake.  Return cake to oven and bake until sauce is bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Cut around cake in pan.  Serve cake slightly warm or at room temperature with toffee sauce on top, with sliced banana if desired. 

Helpful Hints
I don't usually stock dark brown sugar, so I used golden brown in the toffee instead.  It was pretty good, but a dark brown sugar would have made for a richer flavor.  Also, I don't have dark rum so I used regular instead.  This step can probably be left out altogether since the amount is negligible and I didn't notice the flavor anyway.
I used my regular corning ware pan since I don't have a metal pan that size and the cake baked just fine.  And I passed on the sliced bananas on top, my bananas were very brown and not suitable for garnish.
(This recipe can be found on page 103, March 2011 issue)


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