Monday, September 2, 2013

Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing

Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
I've been on the fence about blogging this recipe for the last few days. I made this beast of a cake for a friend of mine, and since his birthday was during the week I had to bake the cake on a weeknight so the only pictures I could get were some shoddy night ones and a few of it at work in my ugly plastic cake carrier. It's also quite similar to a cake I've posted recently. But it generated so much interest and requests for the recipe when I posted a sneak peak of it on instagram and facebook that I just had to write it up for you guys, even with the random mish-mash of pictures.
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
My friend is not a fan of the light sponge & cream cakes so I made sure to avoid anything like that (even though I personally love those sort of cakes). I used my trusty banana cake recipe and made 4 towering layers of cake, sandwiched with a LOT of salted caramel icing. Surprisingly this is my first attempt at a salted caramel icing, I've made sauces before but I have been trying to resist the temptation to put salted caramel in everything. But it's hard. This seemed like a good opportunity to use it though, the salted caramel icing was a more than suitable match for the dense but soft banana cake layers. The thick swirls of icing looked so pretty in the bowl that I opted for the lazier, swirly icing finish to the outside of the cake. I'm not 100% pleased with the texture and flavour of the icing, I think next time I might try a Swiss meringue buttercream with salted caramel instead. This particular icing is verryyyy buttery and very rich, so I probably used a little more icing than was necessary for this cake. I've pulled back some of the butter from the quantities that I used, hopefully that might fix it but let me know if you have issues.
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
I borrowed a trick from my genius friend Karen from Citrus and Candy and topped off the cake with some sliced bananas that I covered in some sugar and bruleed with a blow torch. I made the rookie mistake of torching them on the night so I could take photos, which meant that I had to bring the cake in and re-torch the top of the cake the next morning, which made the icing melt and butter started to drip down the sides. So if you're going to use bananas make sure you caramelise them in a separate pan and only place them on top when you're ready to serve the cake. Or just skip the bananas, the cake is pretty good as it is.
pedestrian
OOPS I nearly forgot to mention! I am lucky enough to be one of the finalists nominated in the Food category for the Pedestrian.TV Blogster awards! It would be great if anyone could send a vote my way. Just go to this link (http://tinyurl.com/pedestrianawards) and click on the 'Like' button next to the Yeah Blog! and that's it! If you're still confused look at the image above for help. I never win anything so it's nice to even be in the running to win this one. Thanks guys!!
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
(makes a 18-20cm four layer round cake)
Note: You can halve the quantities for the cake and icing and still make a decent sized 2-layer cake.
For the banana cake (based on this recipe):
250g softened unsalted butter (salted is fine too)
2&1/4 cups (about 500g) sugar (I used caster/superfine but granulated white sugar is fine too)
4 eggs
2 cups mashed very over-ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
500g (4 cups) plain flour
2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda
1 tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 2 tsp lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), grease well and line the base of two 18cm or 20cm (7-8inch) round tins with baking paper. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined then add banana and vanilla and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon, allspice) together in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk to them mixture, fold until just combined, then add the remaining dry mixture and buttermilk and repeat. Divide mixture between the tins and bake for 50-60 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. (If you only have one tin bake one cake after the other) Cool cake in its tin on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning out and then cool completely on wire rack. Cake can be prepared the night before assembling and refrigerated in airtight containers.
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
For the salted caramel icing (based on this Chow recipe):
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp water
1 cup heavy cream
500g butter (4&1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1-2 tsp fine salt, adjust to taste
4 cups (about 500g) icing (powdered) sugar
Optional: 2 extra bananas, sliced + sugar to sprinkle over for decoration, or banana chips

Briefly stir together sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture just turns dark amber in colour, about 10 minutes. Take care not to let it turn too dark or your caramel will be bitter. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream (mixture will bubble a lot), carefully whisking until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add icing sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat icing on high speed, gradually adding salt to taste and then beat until airy and thoroughly mixed. If mixture is runny, cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes before using, or add more icing sugar to stiffen.

To assemble cake; trim any domed tops off your cakes to level them and them carefully slice cakes in half with a long sharp knife to form four equal layers. Place your first layer on your cake stand/plate and cover with a thin layer of icing, smoothing with a spatula/offset spatula. Sandwich with another layer of top and repeat. Crumb coat outside of cake and then cover with a thicker layer of icing, swirling the outside if you wish. Refrigerate until ready to serve, remove from fridge at least 30 mins before serving to bring back to room temperature. Place sliced banana in a pan, sprinkle with sugar and caramelise with a blow torch. When ready to serve, top with banana slices (or banana chips, which are much easier) Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Icing
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47 comments:

  1. I am in awe over your layers and icing of the cake, namely the thick layers of icing in between each cake layer. THAT'S LOVE! This is one hell of a flavour combo and one everyone surely has to love. Fabulous as always my dear x

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  2. I am with Tina there, those layers look amazing!!!! I have been trying to make salted caramel frosting and I can get the taste right, but not the consistency I would like. Will definitely take into account your tips!

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  3. look so delicious, and you are so generous with the icing.. ooh.. this is must be heaven..

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  4. This cake is stunning! I am super excited to attempt this cake one of these days lol. You did a beautiful job! I love your work!

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  5. That looks freaking amazinggggggg, especially with that slathering of icing ... salted caramel as well !
    Your cakes are like a piece of artwork ... Salivating at them now :(

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  6. this looks freaking amazing! nothing wrong with adding salted caramel into everything!

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  7. omg i can't get over how precise and neat your cake layers are! have already voted for you in the blogsters! good luck!

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  8. I've voted for you:) Your amazing creations never cease to amaze me, and this cake looks ridiculously good. The photos are lovely!

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  9. I love your blog, I love this cake! <3 The salted caramel icing is fanastic.. I will try it!

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  10. Wow this looks amazing!! Thanks for sharing your recipe :) I look forward to trying it out.

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  11. NO not shoddy! That first photo in particular is moody as heck and beautiful. This cake looks so good, especially the charred banana garnish. U kno u got my vote in the pedestrian awards my friend!

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  12. Oh my gosh... This looks unbelievably perfect & professional!
    If only I could have a thick wedge right here, right now...
    Emily xx
    My Ginger Bread Journey

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  13. Delicious :) definitely saving this recipe :)

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  14. These pictures are a million times better than any of mine, so I honestly wouldn't worry and with a cake like that, who cares anyway ;)

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  15. Well now I'm hungry!

    Can I ask you how you get the buttercream in between the layers so thick and even. Whenever I make cakes the buttercream always seems to dissapear into the cake and you can't see it.

    Thanks

    EmmaMT

    p.s. I've voted. Good luck. x

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    1. Thanks for the vote Emma! I always chill my cake layers, and then trim them to ensure they will stack evenly. I use an offset spatula to spread on the icing, and you must make sure your icing is stiff enough that it will hold its shape, a runny icing will tend to be squeezed out the sides when you sandwich the cake layers together. Hope that helps!

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  16. Can't wait to make this - it sounds beyond divine, thanks!!

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  17. I love the look of this cake! I don't see any problem with the photos personally - it still makes the cake look great.

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  18. This cake looks GLORIOUS. And the photos are, too! Lucky, lucky friend of yours who got this cake for his birthday :) I'm so glad you decided to post this! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Loved. I love banana cakes, but this coverage should be a wonder! I have already put a like;) kisses

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  20. steph, you are totally the layer cake queen. you should change your blog name for sure. ;) and SO humble, dang! i love love love this cake - it's so original and that's what you do best. thanks for sharing and i hope you win the contest!!

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  21. This cake looks like a labor of love and sounds amazing! Love the "toasted" bananas on top:)

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  22. I think you've outdone yourself here :P
    This one is simply divine~

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  23. Beautiful gorgeous cake that I would not say no to.

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  24. Yum! This looks gorgeous & I bet it tastes amazing too! I think it could totally be breakfast too...

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  25. These photos are gorgeous! They don't look like they were taken at night at all. :) This cake is also gorgeous. Love those toasty banana slices on top!

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  26. Those may be the most perfect cake layers I have ever seen. I could eat those bruleed banana slices as a snack just on their own!

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  27. the cake looks absolutely beautiful! i've used salted caramel icing before and i loved it. i can't wait to bake this! :)

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  28. Voted! This cake looks amazing as well!

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  29. This cake looks amazing, but in the icing method it says to add vanilla, yet there is no mention of it on the ingredients list? I'm assuming you used one teaspoon of it, like the recipe you based it off. That's what I'm gonna do anyway, so I hope it turns out ok! :D

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    1. Oops sorry JJ that was my mistake. The original recipe used vanilla but I didn't, I just missed taking it out of the method. I've fixed it now. It's fine either way though! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  30. I just voted for you and you have the most votes of the food blogs as of right now. Good luck!

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  31. Wow this looks sooooo incredible! I just love the salted caramel icing.

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  32. Banana and salted caramel sound amazing together. This cake is really something to look at!

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  33. Looks amazing !!!I have made the cake and just waiting on the caramel to cool cant wait to ice it and eat it yum

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  34. Just made the cake and found when mixing the cream into the caramel mixture that the hot caramel solidified into a large lump. I had to put it back onto the heat again to melt the caramel and mix it together. Was I supposed to have mixed the cream in over the heat? Or let the caramel mixture cool a bit longer?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure what you did differently, I've never encountered that problem before. Usually I add the cream all in one go as soon as I remove the caramel from the heat and it bubbles through the whole mixture. It could be that you let it cool too much before adding the cream, or you needed to stir it as you were adding it. Either way I hope it turned out okay after you put it back on the heat again, that was the right thing to do!

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  35. This cake looks amazing!! If I were to make the cakes on a Sunday and ice it on a Monday, would it be ok for Tuesday? Or is it better fresh?

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    1. It's always better fresh but it should be fine for that amount of time if you keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge until Tuesday.

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    2. Just skip the fresh bananas on top

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    3. I made this cake a couple of weekends ago and it did last- and it was delicious!! Thanks for a fantastic recipe! I made a salted caramel cream cheese icing (the cheat's way, using a can of top'n'fill) and the whole thing was a massive hit :)

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  36. Hi there. Lovely looking cake. Am wondering if the butter / sugar ratio is correct ? That seems a lot of sugar for 250 grams of butter. :)

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  37. I highly recommend the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream. That is my all time favorite icing!

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  38. Krystal RodriguesJune 26, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    OMG !!! i have been searching for a banana cake with caramel frosting !!! so glad i came across ur blog,,,luv the look of the cake,,, cant wait to try it !!!!

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