Individual Bananas Foster Cakes
I was rifling through a stack of magazines next to my desk, trying to determine what I could finally throw out, when I came across the year end issue of America’s Test Kitchen Best Recipes and Reviews 2009. Somehow, I hadn’t had time to look through it, so I quickly scanned the pages. As usual, I wanted to make just about everything, but as I flipped towards the last pages, my eyes fixated on Individual Bananas Foster Cakes! I’ve used just about every type of fruit as a variation for the traditional pineapple – but this sounded great. The recipe calls for 6 ounce ramekins, but I found that the 8 ounce size worked better.
Download Individual Bananas Foster Cakes
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 14 pieces
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons dark rum
3 ripe firm bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4” thick
½ cup whole milk
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1¾ cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter eight 8 ounce ramekins, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Off heat, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the rum. Divide mixture evenly in the ramekins, using at least a generous tablespoon in each dish.
3. Shingle the banana slices on top of the sauce in each ramekin, overlapping them slightly – about 6-8 slices per dish; set aside.
4. Whisk remaining ¼ cup rum, milk, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
5. In a large bowl, whisk remaining 1/3 cup of brown sugar, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and zest together. Using mixer on medium low speed, beat in the remaining 8 tablespoons butter into the flour mixture and continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, 1-3 minutes.
6. Beat in all but ¼ cup of milk mixture, then increase the speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth and fluffy, 1-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly beat the remaining ¼ cup milk mixture until the batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds.
7. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is fully combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins, smooth the tops, and gently tap ramekins on pan to settle batter.
8. Bake cakes on baking sheet until a tooth pick comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking.
9. Immediately run a small knife around the edge of cakes, gently invert onto serving plates, and let sit until cakes release themselves from the ramekins, about 5 minutes. Remove the ramekins and serve with vanilla ice cream.