Banana Upside-Down Cake
- 9 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup Demerara sugar*
- 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 3 firm but ripe bananas, halved lengthwise
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
In the tarte Tatin pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the Demerara sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the maple syrup and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Arrange the banana slices lengthwise, cut sides down, to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, sift together the flour, the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. Add the remaining 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) butter and beat on medium-low speed until the butter forms pea-size pieces. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the milk mixture, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Spoon the batter over the bananas, spreading it evenly. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small offset spatula or a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a flat serving plate upside down on top of the pan and invert the pan and plate together. Let stand for 5 minutes, then lift off the pan. Slice and serve warm with whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.
*Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.