Banana Upside-Down Cake

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banana upside down cake

 

Banana Upside Down Cake

This cake is the best of a banana cake and an upside down cake.  You have to love bananas because this cake is the essence of bananas.  This is the cake you make when you have lots of really ripe bananas.

Topping ingredients:

I cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1/4 stick unsalted butter
4 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Cake ingredients:

1 stick softened or melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2-3 bananas)
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or a combination of buttermilk and sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

1. Melt butter and sugar together along with maple syrup in 9 inch cast iron pan and let them caramelize until light brown. Be careful not to let it burn but no need to stir.
2.  Place the bananas attractive over the butter sugar mixture and set aside

Cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  Mix together all the dry ingredients:  baking powder, baking soda, two flours, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
2.  Beat sugar and butter in another bowl until creamy.
3.  Add egg and continue to beat until light and fully. 
4.  Add bananas,vanilla and milk and sour cream and beat together until blended.
5. Add flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.  Do not over mix
6. Carefully pour over the bananas in the iron skillet and spread evenly.
7. Place in center of oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes or until brown and tester comes out clean.
8. Remove the cake from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before carefully inverting it unto a serving tray.
9.  This cake is amazing served warm.

 

 

 

 

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Applesauce Upside Down Cake

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APPLESAUCE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE PUBLISHED

 

These next two posts are my creations of upside down cake with the fruit also in the cake.  So this applesauce upside-down cake has an applesauce spice cake with the apples caramelized over the top.

I started with my applesauce muffin recipe adapting it as a cake recipe. 

 

 

SPICED APPLESAUCE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
 
 
For Topping:
 
5-6 medium apples (peeled cored and quartered)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
 
For Cake Batter 
  • 1 ¼ cups applesauce (if sweetened cut down on the brown sugar)
  • 3/4  cup brown sugar
  • ½  cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½  teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

1.  Using a 9 inch cast iron skillet melt the butter and add the sugar.
2.  Arrange that apples cut side up in a decorative way over the melted butter and sugar. You can crowd them since they will shrink when cooked.
3.  Cook undisturbed for 25-45 minutes or until the apples are tender,  and the are light brown. Make sure not to burn the apples.

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, Beat eggs first and then  add the applesauce, sugar, oil, and buttermilk; beat well.
  3.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and mix in cinnamon,  allspice, cloves and salt. Add to the applesauce mixture but don’t over stir.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Pour batter over the cooked apples, making sure to spread evenly almost to the edge.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake for 5 minutes and then carefully reverse it unto a platter.

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RASPBERRY CLAFOUTI RECIPE

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RASPBERRY CLAFOUTI

eric-ripert-clafouti_450x258 (1)

THE BEST WAY TO EAT RASPBERRIES IS OF COURSE PLAIN WITH WHIPPED CREAM OR ICE-CREAM OR JUST UNADOURNED!  BUT IF YOU HAVE SOME LEFT THAT YOU WANT TO COOK, TRY THIS RECIPE FOR RASPBERRY CLAFOUTI COMPLETE WITH VIDEO BY ERIC RIPERT  

 

 

RASPBERRY CLAFOUTI FROM ERIC RIPERT

 Yield : 2 servings as side

 

INGREDIENTS

Raspberry Clafouti
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. ¼ cup sugar + more for ramekin
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 6 tablespoons half and half
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  7. 1 cup fresh raspberries
Instructions
  1. Heat toaster oven to 400°F. Butter two 3 ½ - inch ramekins and dust with sugar.
  2. Whisk egg until frothy and add sugar, half and half and vanilla extract; mix to combine.
  3. Add the all purpose flour and whisk very well.
  4. Divide the raspberries into the ramekins and pour the batter over the raspberries.
  5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set.
  6. 6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream. (optional)
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon almond estract

2 cups flour

Raspberry jam

 

Glaze:

½ cup confectioner sugar

¾ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon milk

 

1.  In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar

2.  Add almond extract and mix

3.  Add flour and mix quickly

4.  Form about 36 balls and place them on a baking sheet

5.  Make a thumb print in each ball and fill with a little raspberry jam

6.  Bake 14-18 minutes  and  cool

7.  Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cookies.

 

 

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Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs

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Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs

 

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

350 Grams dark chocolate (I use 3 bars of Lindt 70%) 

50 grams butter ½ stick

45 ml brandy (3 Tab

1 tsp Nescafe or espresso powder

¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup finely chopped almonds (.3 pounds) I chop them in a food processor

Granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

1.     Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes in a mixer.

2.     Melt chocolate and butter carefully in the microwave.  I don’t melt the chocolate completely because it is too easy to burn.  Instead I melt it almost all the way and stir it to melt the last little bit of chocolate.

3.     Add coffee and brandy

4.     Fold chocolate mixture into eggs

5.     Add dry ingredients and mix quickly

6.     Fold in almonds

7.     Refrigerate 3-4 hours or for several days

8.     Make snowballs by rolling into 1-2 inch balls, dipping into granulated sugar and then into powdered sugar so that each is completely covered.

9.     Bake in preheated 360 ? oven for 8 minutes.  Do not overcook.

 

 

 

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Corn and maple syrup panna cotta with seasonal fruit

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Corn and maple syrup panna cotta with seasonal fruit

This is an incredibly easy dessert to make and quite elegant.  It isn’t quite as smooth as regular panna cotta but my guests liked the texture.  If you want it really smooth you’ll need to put it through a sieve. 

 

5 ears of corn taken:  kernels taken off the cobs

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 envelope gelatin

2 Tbs maple syrup

 

Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

 

1.      Put the gelatin in a bowl with 2 Tbs water to soften gelatin

2.     Heat the corn kernels up in a heavy skillet for a few minutes so that they become fragrant.  Add the heavy cream and simmer until the corn is cooked: 5-6 minutes.

3.     Add the gelatin and stir together until the gelatin is dissolved

4.     Put gelatin and corn mixture and maple syrup into blender and blend until very smooth. You will need a good blender for this.  I have a Vita Mix which does a good job.  A food processor will not make it smooth enough.  If you want it smoother you will have to put it through a fine sieve after you add the milk. Add milk and pour into individual dishes.  A good amount is about ½ cup per person which will give you  6-7 servings.

5.     Chill in fridge until set.  You can make this the day before.

6.     Garnish with mint and serve with fruit cut into little pieces:  blueberries, nectarines, peaches, kiwis or strawberries.

 

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STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TAPIOCA PUDDING

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                                                                                      strawberry rhubarb tapioca pudding

 

                          

 This is a quick and easy way to enjoy strawberries and rhubarb without having the fuss of making a pie. 

1 quart strawberries cut in half or quarters

1 lb. Rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup small pearl tapioca

1 cup apple juice or other juice

3/4 -1 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like it

1.  Mix the tapioca and 1/2 cup juice in fridge and leave overnight

2. Add 1/2 cup juice, put the tapioca and juice in saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally so the tapioca doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Add more juice or water if the mixture gets too thick.

3. After 15 minutes of gentle boiling add the rhubarb and sugar.  Cook together uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb has broken down and is no longer distinct pieces:  about 15 minutes.

4.  Add strawberries, stir them in and bring to boil.  Then turn off the heat.  This keeps the strawberries bright red and in distinct pieces.  Serve warm or cool to a thicker consistency.  This is wonderful served with vanilla ice-cream.

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GODIVA CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE

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CHOCOLATE GODIVA LIQUOR CHEESECAKE

THIS CAKE IS AN ABSOLUTE WINNER:  VERY EASY TO MAKE,  ELEGANT, AND ONE OF THE BEST  CHOCOLATE CAKES THAT YOU"LL FIND: SMOOTH, RICH, AND  INTENSE.  AND WHAT BETTER PAIRING IS CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRIES.  

SO ALL YOU MEN AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO IMPRESS YOUR LOVERS, TRY THIS OUT.

 

 

 

GODIVA CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350°

CRUST: 

  1. Chocolate graham cracker crumbs:  the boxes have 3 separate packages of 8 double crackers.  I use one package of 8 and another 5 double crackers.  Put them in food processor and grind into fine crumbs.  Then add:
  2. 1 stick butter and another 3 TBS. that has been melted in microwave. Blend in food processor until mixed.
  3. Butter a 10 inch removable rim tart pan and push the crumbs into the tart pan first around the rim and then the bottom so that it is spread evenly and packed down well.
  4. Bake 8 minutes, remove from oven and carefully push crust back into shape using a small spatula or your fingers.

 

FILLING:

1-8 oz. package cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat variety)

½ cup sour cream (I use the lite variety)

½ cup sugar

 2-3.5 oz. bars of chocolate 70% cocoa (I use Lindt Excellence)

1-50 ml. bottle Godiva chocolate Liquor (the little darkest bottles you see when you check out)

1 large egg

 

  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a food processor until well blended.
  2. Break the bars into largish pieces and then melt.  The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by setting the microwave for 1 minute and then swishing your bowl around so that the pieces are distributed in the melted chocolate.  Then microwave for another 30 seconds and let sit a minute.  You want the last few pieces to melt after the chocolate has been removed from the microwave.  Don’t melt the whole thing in the microwave or you risk burning the chocolate.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and blend together.
  4. Add Godiva Liquor and blend.
  5. Add egg and blend using a spatula to scrape down the sides.
  6. Pour into tart shell and bake 25-30 minutes.  You want the sides to begin cracking but the center to be slightly moist and dipped down.

Cool the tart.  It can be refrigerated and brought to room temperature to serve the following day.  I like to garnish it with raspberries.  Or you can garnish with whipped cream.  This pie is VERY rich and can serve 10-12 people easily.

 

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CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY OATMEAL BARS

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Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

 

What a great combination:  raspberries and chocolate.  This is an easy recipe combining two great recipes:  a chocolate oatmeal bar and a raspberry oatmeal bar recipe.  My guests found it a little reminiscent of sacher torte but much easier to make. 

 

Ingredients:

Bottom layer:

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup softened butter (1 stick)

1 large egg

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract or coconut extract

¾ cup instant oatmeal

½ cup chocolate chips

 

1/2 cup raspberry jam

 

Topping:

 

½ cup brown sugar

1/4-1/2  cup softened butter (1/2-1 stick)

¾ cup flour

¾ cup instant oatmeal

 

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.      In a food processor cream together sugar and butter and beat  in egg. 

3.      Add flour and baking powder and pulse until blended.  Do not over mix.

4.      Add the extract and oatmeal and pulse a few times until mixed but do not over mix.

5.      Stir in chocolate chips.

6.      Press into a 9 X 9 inch nonstick pan that has been spread with oil or butter.

7.      Spread the jam evenly over the dough.

TOPPING:

8.      In the food processor cream together the butter  and sugar and add the flour pulsing a few times until incorporated. Do not overmix. 

9.      Add the oatmeal and mix quickly.

10.  Crumble the topping evenly over the raspberry and press down.

11.  Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until beginning to brown.

12.  Let cool completely.  These are even better the next day.  Cut them into small squares or rectangles.  These are very rich cookies.

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FRESH SEASONAL FRUIT

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SEASONAL FRUIT PLATTER

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Alice Water's (CHEZ PANISSE) interview on Fresh Air last week, I decided to select the most beautiful and sweetest local fruit I could find and offer it to my dinner guests just like this.

 The peaches were from the Ithaca Farmer's Market, the plums were from Black Diamond Farm which has a booth at the IFM, and the little yellow plums in the back, under the grapes were from Indian Creek Orchards.  The green grapes, bursts of total flavor and sweetness and the Chestnut Crab apples were also from Black Diamond Farm. The raspberries were from our garden picked a few hours beforehand at their peak of ripeness.  I couldn't resist adding the perfectly ripe figs even though they were interlopers to the local platter.

Served as is with homemade plum ice-cream and this was a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.  The next day I made a peach/raspberry pie with the leftover very ripe fruit.  But it really is a shame to cook fruit when it is so fresh and perfect as were these fruits.


 

Thanks to my friend Doug Hexler who hosted the party and took this beautiful picture.

 

 

 

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