Yum yum yummmmmmy.  Even some of the men said yummy (which is typically not a word that they tend to use) but it is a MUST here.  What can be better than bananas, caramel and chocolate?  Not much!  This cake oozed with sticky sweet caramel, had a delicious and distinct banana flavor and was even further enhanced by chocolate chips.  Not sure I need to say more about this.  But I will.  I saw the picture in the March issue of Bon Appetit and immediately knew it going to be a hit.  I then noticed that the recipe came from Lauren Chattman and I was even more committed to trying it.  Well, again, as I stated…delicious.  Beth and Mark loved it the most.  But most everyone who tried it raved.  Warm with my vanilla ice cream this was so very good.  Make it soon while it’s cool out as it is a good one to warm up with and hunker down and enjoy in elastic waist pants!

BTW, you can make the sauce 2 days ahead of the cake and store in the fridge.  Just reheat lightly before using.

banana toffee cake (slightly adapted from Lauren Chattman’s recipe from the March issue of Bon Appetit):

toffee sauce –

1 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

banana cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 7 oz. – or about 2 bananas)
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
chocolate chips (optional)

toffee sauce

Bring 1 1/4 cups cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Once boiled, cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally – until the sauce coats the back of a spoon (heavily) and the sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.  It is very hot and can burn you easily so please be careful.

Once thick, remove from heat and let cool.  Add up to 4 more tablespoons of cream to thin the sauce to desired consistency.  Now make the cake.

banana cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and 8x8x2 inch metal baking pan.  Dust pan with flour and pat out excess.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

On medium high speed and with the paddle attachment of your mixer (or with handheld beaters), beat the butter and sugar until well blended.   Scrape and mix again for another minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated.  On medium low speed, beat in the mashed bananas, rum and the vanilla.  Scrape and mix again.  At this point the mixture may look curdled but don’t worry.

Next, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating on the lowest speed and just to blend.  I think if you add chocolate chips here it would be nice.  I didn’t – I added them at the end,  but will probably stick them in the batter next time.  A few or a lot, that is your call.  This is also delicious without chocolate!

Spread the batter into the prepped pan and bake until a toothpick comes out just clean.  (The recipe says 35-38 minutes but it took me only 30 and I should have checked even a few minutes early…so watch carefully and know how your oven cooks.)

Spread about 1/2 cup of the toffee sauce evenly over the cake and return cake to the oven for 3-6 minutes – until the sauce bubbles thickly.  Remove from oven and place desired amount of chocolate chips on top (if you choose).

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes.  Cut and serve warm (or not) with the leftover toffee sauce.  You can top with sliced bananas and/or whipped cream, or ice cream.  Wowee.  Enjoy –

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