Caramelised banana and pecan cake

It’s both rewarding and frustrating having a food blog. It’s my passion, one I spend a lot of my time working on. I even have two days’ childcare per week to focus my efforts on the blog, cooking and posting, and trying to build the audience via social media. I’m not afraid to tell you that I don’t currently make any money from this blog – most food bloggers don’t (there are only a handful with very large audiences who do). So why do I do it? Why do most food bloggers do it? Erm, good question! 
I do it because I love to cook, and bake and develop recipes. I do it because I love to take photographs of food (this is the biggest learning curve for me). I do it because I enjoy sharing on social media. But as much as I love it, I would like, one day, to create some income from my hobby. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that! What is frustrating for many bloggers like me is that there are lots of ways to apparently make money via your blog (Google Adsense and other such networks) yet in reality you only make decent money from them if your traffic numbers are HUGE. Mine are growing each month, and I am confident that as I get better at cooking, shooting food, writing etc, that this will continue. It’s a good job I love blogging, doing all this work and not getting paid a penny. 
Why am I waffling on like this? Well, as a result of feeling increasingly disillusioned, I’ve come up with an idea… I’ve thought of a way for all (decent) food bloggers, big and small, to make money from their content. All I can say is, if you are a recipe blogger and this sounds appealing (and you are open to working with food brands), get in touch (Tweet or email best) with me… Sorry to all non-bloggers for whom this little sounding off isn’t so interesting! 
Now… back to the recipe! This not-so-little beauty is one of those upside down cakes. The original recipe (a Darina Allen one) I adapted it from uses a tarte tatin pan (a heavy ovenproof pan), but I have tried it in a loose bottom cake tin and it works just fine. I added toasted, chopped pecans (obsessed with them at the moment) too which works really well. With some whipped cream on the side and a cup of tea, it hits the spot. Great for using up ripe bananas. Would be a lovely and easy one to do for a dinner party – you could definitely make it the day before. 

Serves: 8 adults
Prep time: 15 minutes 
Cook time: 45 minutes 
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients: 
For the top (which is on the bottom in the tin!):
75g butter 
45g soft brown sugar 
45g golden caster sugar 
3 medium bananas, thinly sliced (about 1/2cm)
Juice half a lemon
100g toasted pecans, chopped
For the base (which is the topping in the tin!):
1 banana, mashed
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
150g of soft brown sugar (or golden caster would be fine)
75g butter, softened
2 eggs
175g self-raising flour
A little vegetable or sunflower oil to grease
A little icing sugar to dust
Whipped double cream to serve
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly oil a 23cm loose bottom cake tin. 
  2. Toss sliced bananas in a little lemon juice to prevent browning. 
  3. Melt butter and sugars in a saucepan over a gentle heat, until the sugars have dissolved. This will only take a few minutes. 
  4. Add the sugar and butter (now a kind of toffee) mix to the bottom of the cake tin. Mine went slightly split at this point but it worked out fine so don’t worry if yours does too. 
  5. Place the bananas on top of the toffee, creating a thin layer in the cake tin. 
  6. Lightly toast (dry fry in a pan over a low heat for a few minutes until the oils are released and the smell becomes toasty) the pecans. Then chop them roughly. Scatter these over the bananas evenly. 
  7. To make the bottom of the cake, mash the banana and mix with vanilla extract and creme fraiche. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric whisk or a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one by one and beat some more. Now fold the flour in, and finally the banana mix. 
  8. Top the banana and nut toffee base with this cake mixture. Level off as well as possible and bake for 45 minutes. 
  9. Let cool in its tin before loosening tin and turning out. Some bananas may stick to the loose bottom – just peel them off and stick back on to the top. Dust with icing sugar if you so wish. 
  10. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 
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    2 Comments

    1. May 12, 2014 / 5:11 pm

      Ooh I so know what you mean about food blogging, not that I am the best example at the moment (!!) but I really aim to be – bring on maternity leave. Would love to know your thoughts (bakenshakeblog at gmail.com) , am sure it will inspire me 🙂 xo p.s. cake looks delicious!

    2. May 13, 2014 / 12:36 pm

      Hi! Yeah it's all about time really isn't it, and with kids you don't end up having much of that to yourself! Still, I started this blog when I was on mat leave with my first… so in a way children have allowed me to do this. I have a business idea (still very much in its infancy) that I hope will mean good bloggers will be able to earn money for content… I'll keep you in mind for that if you're interested. Thanks for stopping by! X

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