So, I got away with not making resolutions for the New Year, but my question is, “If I want to celebrate Fat Tuesday like a rock star, must I give up something for Lent?” Does one have be Catholic to get the most out of Fat Tuesday, or can I celebrate and wake up Wednesday, fatter, happier and hung over-er with no depriving myself of bad habits until the Easter bunny hops on into town?
I’m going to answer my own question and say, “Yes, Danette, you go right ahead and do what you do, no one is judging.” That’s what I’ll keep telling myself.
Well, in honor of Mardi Gras, I’m whipping up a delicious treat that will make you throw on the beads, strap on your masks and flash your money makers. How does Bananas Foster Pecan Crunch Cake sound? This is a twist on the traditional Bananas Foster, which was created in New Orleans. Such a simple and decadent treat. Of course, it is always better when it is prepared the correct way and the sauce is ignited. As Paris Hilton would say, “That’s hot.”
I’m taking all the essentials of the recipe and throwing it all together in a cake. I’m making a pecan crunch to add to the top and bottom, which is just going to set this treat off. We will be adding rum to the batter (one for the cake, one for me), which is typical of bananas foster and will give it a definite kick; it will have an intoxicating aroma that will make you wish you were on Bourbon strutting your stuff. Although we won’t be setting the cake ablaze, you will appreciate all the flavors of Mardi Gras right there in your little bundt pan.
If you are going to any kind of celebration I suggest bringing the cake along with you, and a bottle of rum probably wouldn’t hurt, either. Of course serving the cake with vanilla ice cream is a must, so pick up a container of vanilla bean from Boulder Ice Cream, and you are a party waiting to happen. Fat Tuesday equals Happy Wednesday. You heard it here first.
Now, follow the directions, pour some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.
Bananas Foster Pecan Crunch Cake
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans (for center of cake)
1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup rum (I used spiced rum)
3 large ripe bananas (peel and mash up in bowl)
Dusting of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar and melted butter. Toss to combine, set aside.
In small bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla and rum. Add in mashed bananas and stir batter until just incorporated. Stir in flour mixture until smooth.
Pour half of mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup plain pecans over batter. Pour rest of batter over pecans and smooth. Add pecan topping mixture over batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Take out and let cool. Invert onto plate, and then flip back over onto serving platter so crunch topping is facing up. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut and serve. Enjoy!
Note: Pair with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or a vanilla glaze.