- 50mins + 3hrs for caramel
Vanilla Almond Banana Cake
- 2 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Queen Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1 teaspoon Queen Natural Almond Extract
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
- 500ml cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
- 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
- A pinch sea salt flakes
- 1 vanilla bean
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 3 large bananas, sliced
- Honeycomb shards (optional)
- Almond praline
- Dark cocoa powder or dark chocolate grated (optional)
Method - Carmel
Preheat oven to 210°C. Pour the condensed milk into an oven proof glass or ceramic dish. Split vanilla bean using the tip of a sharp knife, then scrape along the cut surface to collect the seeds. Add the seeds to the condensed milk with the sea salt flakes and stir then cover the dish with aluminium foil.
Place the dish into a larger metal baking pan and add hot water to the baking pan until it comes halfway up the base of the smaller dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the milk has reached a rich amber colour.
Once the dulce de leche is ready, remove it from the oven and when cooled a little whisk it in the baking dish with the thickened cream until smooth. Transfer to a sterilised jar and keep refrigerated until use
Method - Vanilla Almond Banana Cake
Preheat oven to 180ºC, grease and line three 9 inch (23cm) cake tins with baking paper. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream softened butter and sugar until pale, creamy and the sugar has dissolved. In a jug, combine maple syrup, whisked eggs, Vanilla Bean paste and almond extract. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing on high speed until fully combined.
At low speed, mix in half of the flour and buttermilk, mixing until almost fully combined, then add in remaining flour and buttermilk. Mix until just combined then fold in mashed bananas. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Method - Almond Praline
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. This must be prepared before making praline. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and bring to the boil, cooking for 5-7 minutes until golden. Set aside for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is no longer bubbly, then gently mix in almonds. Immediately tip mixture onto prepared tray and allow to cool completely before breaking up into shards to decorate cake.
Method - Assembly and to serve
Combine cold cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.
Place one cake on the bottom of a cake stand. Top with cream, piped or spread onto cake, followed by a thin layer of caramel and sliced bananas. Place the second cake on top of the bananas, then top with more cream, caramel and bananas. Finish with the third cake, topped with a larger quantity of cream, bananas and generous amounts of caramel. Finish with praline shards, honeycomb and cocoa powder or grated chocolate, if desired and serve immediately.