After many months of feeling uninspired in the kitchen, the cooking bug, in particular, the baking bug, has arrived and bitten back strong. I am again making my own crème fraiche, and curds, and even am attempting my hand at pickling. I also took the time this morning to make my own brioche (more on that later this week), resolving though this time to make it by hand – rather than letting my kitchen aid companion do all the hard work. I’m also letting the little culinary failures I encounter, be just that, small, insignificant, stepping-stone mistakes – ones that teach valuable and important life lessons.
This recipe is adapted from Donna Hay’s magazine and is one I’ve been bursting to make since it first appeared in my mailbox many months ago… but it’s been put off until now due to all the demanding errands, travel and finicky business of starting back at university.
Banana and Honey Layer Cake with Salted Rum Caramel makes for a delicious, dense and alluring dessert. It is a cake with character – one with old school flavour charm, charisma and slight finesse. The four cake layers are rich with the flavour of banana, slight spice of cinnamon and familiar warmth from a splash of vanilla and rum. Between the cake layers is a simple whipped honey and mascarpone cream filling which contrasts beautifully against the dense cake base. A salted rum caramel is finally drizzled down the cake, providing a warming flavour foil against the sweet banana and honey taste.
There’s nothing quite like the ritual of slicing and sharing a cake. And this was shared in celebration of a significant occasion for a special someone. It’s quite the showstopper. And simple too. It is quick to prepare and bakes up beautifully in the oven, every time. It also omits a wonderful, sinful aroma that will linger around the house, long after the cake has come out of the oven.
There was quite a debate though over the best way to eat the cake. I prefer to eat it chilled. As it brings a dense, moist heaviness to the banana base which contrasts deliciously against the chilled mascarpone and honey cream filling. My mother on the other hand, prefers the cake at room temperature, which yields a slightly more light and aerated crumb texture. I won’t go into offering preferential advice though… as the debate was never settled. We did however; manage to agree that the real truth is this cake is delicious any way you choose to share it. I have a feeling that you too, would be inclined to agree.
- 2 ¼ cups / 340 g / 12 oz. self-raising flour
- 1 ½ cups / 260 g / 9.2 oz. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups / 375 g / 13 oz. mashed banana (about 4 ½ medium bananas)
- 225 g / 8 oz. unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. rum
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten at room temperature
- 1 cup / 250 ml / 9 oz. thickened pouring cream
- 250 g / 9 oz. mascarpone
- ½ cup / 90 g / 3.2 oz. honey
- 1 cup / 220 g / 7.8 oz. caster sugar
- ⅓ cup / 80 ml / 2.8 oz. water
- ⅓ cup / 80 ml / 2.8 oz. thickened pouring cream
- 2 tbsp. rum
- Flaky sea salt, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 160 C / 325 F. Grease and line 4 x 18 cm / 7 inch cake tins and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and combine. Make a well in the center and add the mashed banana, melted butter, honey, rum, vanilla and eggs. Mix to combine well then divide the mixture into the prepared tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cakes are beginning to turn a golden colour and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. (If you are not baking the cakes in four individual tins, the cooking time will be slightly longer – roughly 35-40 minutes if baked in 2 cake tins). Allow to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cakes are cooled, level any domed tops.
- Next make the salted rum caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until just combined. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, for 9-10 minutes or until lightly light caramel in colour. Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream, rum and flaky salt. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir until combined. Set aside and allow to cool completely before pouring onto the cake.
- Place the cream, mascarpone and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or with a hand-held electric whisk, whisk until stiff peaks form. Begin to assemble the cake by spreading a quarter of the honey cream mixture over the first bottom layer of the cake and sandwiching with another cake layer. Repeat this layering process to use up all four cake layers. Spread the remaining cream on-top the cake and drizzle with the salted rum caramel to serve.