Friday, 17 September 2010

Her results- Banana and Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

Have I told you my theory on fruit desserts? Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but here goes: In order for a fruit dessert to be worth making (worth the time, the effort, the calories, the cost), it has to be as good or better than the unaltered fruit itself. When offered a whole banana or a slice of banana cake, I think a worthwhile banana cake should easily win out. I'm a big fan of fruit, so this this high expectation sets me up for a letdown. I expect the flavor of the fruit to be accentuated during the baking process, and the concoction should make me love bananas with new vigor. If it's not going to do that, why not save myself the effort and just eat a banana! If I'm sticking to my guns, I'm not sure that this cake is worth it. It's tasty, I liked it and I'd even suggest it. But to be controversial and honest, I'd be just as happy eating a banana. That said, I definitely suggest this cake to my more accepting friends.

I enjoyed making the cake. I used water in my sugary topping, and David Lebovitz is right that it works just fine. Layering the bananas into the dish was fun, and I lightly brushed them with lemon juice using my new silicone brush.

The batter was simple and satisfying to make. I put my bananas into the food processor to puree them, which seemed to save me a lot of effort. When I spread the batter onto my prepared pan (as seen above), some of the sugary sauce pooled at the corners and edges (as seen below). I wonder if there's a way to avoid the pooling effect.

As usual, I didn't have to bake my cake quite as long as suggested by the recipe.

When I pulled it out of the oven, one side was a clearly taller than the other. After cooling, the height difference was almost imperceptible, so I flipped it onto a platter and had a look before nabbing a big slice. The cake was simultaneously attractive and unattractive. The overlapping banana slices were a nice touch, but the sugary goop was so thick and dark around the edges that it didn't look as welcoming as it could have. I truly wonder if the right treatment could have keep the topping more evenly distributed.

At any rate, the cake was tasty. I think I'm with David Lebovitz: I liked it best right out of the oven. It's like a spongy banana bread with chocolate chips and a sugary baked banana topping. If that sounds right up your alley (it sounds amazing to me), and if you're less of a fruit snob than I am, then by all means try out this cake. It's a good recipe, and it's not bad on the second and third day, either. By the fourth day it had gotten gummy and unpleasing, so bake it and eat it up within a couple of days, or just peel a banana and start nibbling.

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