Pecan Banana Cake with Warm Butter Rum Toffee Sauce
This cake bakes up in a 9-inch cake pan. If you don't have a 9-inch cake pan, you could use an 8-inch, but you'd need to hold back some of the batter. See more information in the instructions. You can make both the sauce and cake ahead, just keep them separate until ready to serve. Simply re-warm the sauce slightly and pour over the cake at serving. You will have extra sauce to pass with the cake. This cake is lovely served with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by greasing with butter and lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper (for easy removal!). Set aside. *Note: If you only have 8-inch cake pans, you can use, but you will have to hold back some of the batter. The cake doesn't rise much at the sides (it does dome). You'll only want to fill the pan to about 80% of the height. Note that cooking time may be less so check often.
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the 350° oven until fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven (leaving oven oand allow to cool. Once cool, process in a food processor until ground. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the brown and white sugar until light and fluffy (several minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and rum and beat to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter and beat until just combined, then beat in the ground pecans until well incorporated.Spoon batter into prepared cake pan.
Bake in pre-heated 350° oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove to a cooling rack, leaving the parchment paper intact and cooling parchment paper side down. Once cool, use a serrated knife to carefully slice off the domed top of the cake level with the sides of the cake. Discard (or snack on :) the removed slice of the cake. Invert the cake on to your serving platter or stand and peel off and discard the parchment. *Note: a cake stand or platter with a rim or raised edge is best to keep the sauce around the cake and so it won't spill over the edge.)
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan (not too small, as mixture bubbles up considerably!), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream, rum and vanilla and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Taste and add a bit more rum, if you like, to taste. Cool sauce to just warm (so it will thicken more and stay on the cake when you pour it over). If making sauce ahead, refrigerate until needed then re-warm in saucepan or microwave when serving. *Note: don't over-heat, as the sauce will be too thin. Heat to just warm.
Very slowly, pour the warm sauce over the cake, starting with a puddle in the middle and add more slowly, so it spreads over the top of the cake and spills down the sides a bit. Reserve remaining sauce to serve with the cake slices.
To garnish cake, place 12 pecan halves equally in a ring around the top of the cake. If desired, sprinkle with a pinch of a coarse salt, such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel.
Serve as is, or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!