If you follow the Crafting Foodie, or if you're visiting for the first time, you'll notice that I'm obsessed with love baking. And based upon my blog, it may seem reasonable to think that we live on sugar and baked goods in my home. But in reality, baking is just one part of who I am. I also enjoy knitting, crafting, cooking (real food), and I really, really love running. Now that I'm running outside again after a torturously long winter running on the treadmill, I'm slowly building up my mileage and endurance. I'm at about 25-30 miles a week. I'm getting there slowly but surely 🙂
Like so many of you, my days are jam-packed with deadlines, checklists, errands, plus all that comes along with being a wife and mother. So I often find myself eating on the go. My number one, go-to snack for convenience and nutrition (plus they're nice and filling) is a banana. If I don't eat nutritious foods, no matter how hydrated and rested I think I am, I'm completely depleted after my run. That being said, our house is always well stocked with bananas. Which generally is a good thing. They're almost always eaten or put in a smoothie before they get too mushy.
But last week a whole batch of bananas sat untouched, as we were all battling the stomach flu. As we recovered, I knew I could put those blackened bananas to good use in these mini-banana bundt cakes with dark chocolate, roasted pecans, and salted caramel sauce.
This recipe may sound fancy, but the whole thing comes together in about 15 minutes. Of course I had my favorite sous chef helping me. She mixed the batter pretty much herself. The only portion of the batter I handled was cutting the nuts and chocolate.
While the cakes baked, I made the salted caramel sauce. If you're intimidated by making caramel, this is the sauce for you. It requires no thermometer and no special equipment. My only suggestion is to use a pot that is quite large because when adding the cream to the hot sugar/water mixture it bubbles quite vigorously. Other than that, it's a very straightforward and difficult-to-mess-up recipe.
You can make this recipe in a regular loaf pan, but I used this pan instead. Each mini-bundt cake is probably a bit smaller than a cupcake, so not only are these super cute, but they're also good for portion control. (That is if you don't eat five of them at a time, like I do!)
Mini-Banana Bundt Cakes with Dark Chocolate, Roasted Pecans, and Salted Caramel Sauce
The cake recipe is slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Ingredients for the Mini-Banana Bundt Cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
10 tbs granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups toasted pecans roasted and chopped
5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate grated
4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions for the Mini-Banana Bundt Cakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Place the pecans on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 8-12 minutes, turning once as they roast. Remove the nuts from the oven, and allow them to cool before chopping.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, walnuts, and chocolate in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
Spray the mini-bundt pan with a cooking spray that contains flour. Make sure to grease the pan well. Fill each cavity of the cake pan about 2/3 full.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, and remove the cakes from the pan immediately. Allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Yields about 18 to 20 mini-bundt cakes.
Ingredients for the Salted Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp flakey sea salt
Instructions for the Salted Caramel Sauce
In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, add the sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar just dissolves.
Increase the heat. Do not mix the sugar and water. Allow the mixture to boil and turn deep amber brown. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cream and vanilla. The mixture will boil vigorously. (Thus it is imperative to use a large pot when making the caramel sauce.) Once the mixture has calmed down, add the salt.
Return the mixture back to the stove, and on medium-low heat, allow the mixture to reduce slightly. This will take about 8 minutes.
Chill the mixture until thickened.
Instructions for Assembling the Mini-Banana Bundt Cakes
Once the bundt cakes have cooled completely, trim the bottom of each cake so that it is level.
Pour the thickened caramel sauce over the cakes, allowing it to drip over the sides of the cake.
Sprinkle some flake sea salt over the tops of the cakes.
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