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Baking I Coconut Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake

I don't know what it is with me and overripe bananas. I mean I get them all ready to eat with my cereal but after the first day I kind of forget about them and they just lie there in the corner of my kitchen.

Some days when my brain works fine, I manage to salvage them and peel them and bung them into the freezer for future use, other days I let them blacken completely on the outside and make banana oatmeal pancakes out of them. And other days I stick to an old favourite, banana bread.

This time though, I caught these bananas in an in-between stage, too ripe to be bunged into my cereal but not ripe enough to be made into banana bread. And while I waited for inspiration to strike, I also chanced upon a packet of Coconut flakes that my friend Sangeeta had given Deeba and me a few weeks ago.

That was it. I've always loved the banana coconut combination and couldn't think of anything better to make. I decided to keep the fat at the minimal and up the coconut ante by adding  coconut milk to the batter as well.

I'd seen a Lorraine Pascal show on TV a few months ago, and I loved how she'd made a banana upside down cake, and figured that my bananas were perfect for this experiment. The result, a cake that packed a punch of both the coconut and bananas and had a lovely bitter-sweet after-taste from the caramel.

This cake is a brilliant tea cake and doubles up as a great dessert too. I love how the bananas adorn the cake and show themselves off.

Coconut Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake
Serves 8 to 10

For the cake2 eggs2/3 cup coconut milk1/3 cup olive oil1/2 cup sugar1 tsp vanilla1 ripe bananas mashed1  cup whole wheat flour1/4 tsp salt1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp baking powder1/3 cup coconut flakes

For the topping2 bananas Caramel sauce made with1 cup sugar1 tblsp butter3 tblsp cream 4 tblsp coconut flakes
Method1. First make the topping.  Put sugar in a saucepan and slowly melt it.  Let it smoke and turn into a rich deep golden colour.  Turn off heat and add cream and butter. Stir well until it's mixed well  2. Cut the bananas in circles.  Arrange well in the pan and top with the caramel sauce followed by the coconut flakes. 3. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients including the mashed bananas. Add sugar to the mix.  Keep aside.4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 5. Gently stir in the flour mix into the wet ingredients.  Pour over the banana caramel arrangement6. Bake for 55 mins at 180 degree centigrade.

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