I'm not really one to advocate "healthy" desserts. I say, if you are going through the trouble to make a dessert, or if you are really craving a dessert, then just eat something worth eating. Eating low-sugar or low-fat desserts rarely satisfies my craving, so I'd much rather eat sensible meals and reasonable portions of real desserts.
However, if I happen to come across a dessert that is appealing, and it just so happens to be on the healthier side, then I'll give it a try. I actually saved this recipe over a year ago, and only when I went t bake this did I realize that it is actually relatively healthy/not terribly bad for you. The banana puree and light sour cream keep the cake moist without adding too much fat, and the bananas also sweeten the cake enough to where cups and cups of sugar aren't necessary. And the sliced bananas cooked in brown sugar give the cake a wonderfully sweet caramel flavor. Chocolate and bananas are just meant to go together, so the addition of chocolate chips just seems natural as well. The recipe gives several options to make it healthier, but I pretty much ignored them all. :-)
This cake is best enjoyed straight from the oven - with a scoop of ice cream, if you're feeling decadent. But it is great at room temperaure as well. I couldn't stop myself from cutting off slices all day. And being that it is ridiculously easy to throw together - you don 't even need to break out the mixer - this is a dangerous cake to have in your repertoire.
Banana and Chocolate Upside Down Cake
adapted from David Lebovitz
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tbs packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2-3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs low fat sour cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
To make the topping, place the brown sugar and butter in a 8-inch square baking pan. Set the pan over a burner set to medium-low heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter melts and the brown sugar is thoroughly moistened.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Arrange the banana slices over the bottom of the pan, overlapping them slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, banana puree, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add pour the wet ingredients into the well. Stir until just combined, then gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the cake pan, being careful not to disturb the banana slices. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake until the center is just set and firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, and invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.