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Challenge: Fall Harvest

Caramel Cream Layered Banana Cake

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If you have some time over this Fall to play in the kitchen, this cake will be one of those memorable masterpieces to tackle.

Caramel Cream Layered Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (for cake)
  • 2 ½ cups sugar, divided (for cake)
  • 6 large eggs (for cake)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (for cake)
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (for cake)
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (for cake)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (for cake)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (for cake)
  • 4 ½ teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided (for cake)
  • 4 ½ teaspoons dark rum, divided (for cake)
  • 1 ½ cups (packed) golden brown sugar (for banana cream)
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed (for banana cream)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (for banana cream)
  • 4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided (for banana cream)
  • 2 cups pecan halves (for pecans)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for pecans)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (for pecans)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Toss pecans and melted butter in medium bowl to coat.
  3. Add sea salt and toss.
  4. Spread pecans in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, about 15 minutes.
  6. Cool pecans on baking sheet.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 ½-inch-high sides.
  9. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended.
  10. Add eggs and beat until pale in color, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add buttermilk and blend well.
  12. Add flour, baking powder, sea salt and mix.
  13. Fold in bananas.
  14. Divide batter between prepared pans (about 3 ½ cups for each).
  15. Bake cakes for about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes up clean.
  16. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes.
  17. Invert cakes onto racks; cool completely.
  18. Prepare banana cream. (below)
  19. In a processor or mixer, combine brown sugar, banana, and butter, blending until smooth.
  20. Add 1 ½ cups whipping cream and blend.
  21. Transfer to heavy medium saucepan.
  22. Whisk over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.
  23. Attach candy thermometer to inside of pan; cook without stirring or swirling pan until temperature registers 218°F, about 10 minutes.
  24. Pour caramel into bowl.
  25. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.
  26. Whisk remaining 2 ¼ cups whipping cream in large bowl until cream mounds softly.
  27. Gradually fold in cooled caramel mixture.
  28. Chill until cream is firm enough to spread, about 3 hours.
  29. Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers.
  30. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on platter.
  31. Drizzle or brush 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice and 1 ½ teaspoons rum over.
  32. Spread 1 ¼ cups banana cream over.
  33. Top with second cake layer.
  34. Repeat process with second and third layer.
  35. Top with fourth cake layer, cut side down; spread remaining cream over top.
  36. Arrange pecans over top of cake.

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