Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

Momsie’s banana is a hit.

2 combs were brought back on Sunday and before we knew it, Margaux has consumed a comb. It wouldn’t be sitting at Agnes’s kitchen for too long either as we both are pretty confident to start our baking adventure with a dish that calls for banana.

Agnes quickly scoured David Lebovitz, her favorite food blogger stationed in Paris and we found this Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake. We would suggest you follow his recipe to the T and the outcome will be tremendous. Absolutely a fun dish to bake.

For the topping:

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (60 g) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water or butter; cubed, at room temperature
3-4 ripe medium bananas
a few drops of lemon juice

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup (250 g) banana puree (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, regular or low-fat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80 g) chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1. To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water or butter in an 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan. Warm the pan directly on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened.

If using water, simmer the mixture for about 45 seconds. If using butter, stir just until the sugar is moist and bubbling, then remove from heat. (It won’t melt completely smooth, and there may be a few bare spots, which is normal.) Let cool to room temperature.

2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4-inch (1 cm) slices. Arrange them in slightly overlapping rows over the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, egg, egg white, banana puree, sour cream, and vanilla.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.

7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.

8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it.

9. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

Agnes and I had a few false start though. Although we visited a nearby cake ingredients supply shop, Blue Sea, we did not obviously had a proper shopping list. Had we visited David’s website prior to our shopping trip, our cake would have turned out as it actually should.

Anyway, this is truly a very interesting episode for Agnes and I, both amateur but enthusiastic bakers. We didn’t realise that we ran out of normal wheat flour, the most important basic ingredient for any baker. As the banana cake is named, an up-side-down cake; we had our total process a little choppy and turbulent as well. Thank god, it did not dampen our mood at all.

For one, we had no choice but to use wholemeal flour which made the texture of the cake a bit stiff. I can imagined if we had used normal flour, the cake would have been moist and tender. I don’t find it offensive and I think some may like the hearty feeling of this bite.

Our greatest anxiety had little to do with the flour, we did not have sour cream. So could our baking project turn sour? There was small glitch in communication and we had to improvise. Thankfully, Mr. Google has all the answers to your query and soon we were making buttermilk as substitute by adding lemon juice into milk. I just had to keep my fingers crossed as it did not look or taste anything like sour cream.

Searched we did the entire kitchen but we found no 8 inch square tray but a 9 inch round one. Agnes’s stuffs are still packed in boxes and all over the place, hopefully in a couple weeks her kitchen will be well equipped for our future baking adventure.

It was a long 40 minutes wait and our banana cake turned out fantastic; both in appearance and taste.

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