Serve this at your next dinner party; just don't expect any to be left! One tablespoon of rum, mixed in with the maple syrup, is a nice addition.
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, no substitutes
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely-chopped, toasted walnuts
- 4 large ripe bananas, , peeled and cut diagonally into quarter-inch thick slices
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup white sugar
- 3⁄8-3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
- First, make topping: In a heavy, medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar and butter over low heat.
- Stir until butter melts and mixture is well combined; then pour into a 9-inch-diameter cake pan that has 2-inch-high sides; spread to coat bottom of pan.
- Pour maple syrup over sugar mixture, then evenly sprinkle on the nuts.
- Place banana slices in concentric circles on the nuts, overlapping slightly and covering the bottom of the pan.
- Now, make cake: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In another medium-sized bowl, beat sugar and butter together until creamy; add egg and vanilla, then beat until light and fluffy.
- Beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk, in 3 additions.
- Spoon this batter over the bananas; bake about 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted into centre comes out clean.
- Transfer cake, in pan, to a rack, and run a knife around the sides; let cool on rack for 30 minutes.
- Place plate over pan; invert cake-- let stand for 3 minutes, then gently lift off the pan.
- Serve warm, preferably with whipped cream.