This is an African upside-down cake. Two firm bananas can be substituted for the plantain. If you use bananas, they should not be precooked. Plantains can be found in Latin markets.
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 cups sliced half-ripe plantain
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter or margarine, plus extra for coating cake pan
1 cup molasses
2/3 cup boiling water
whipped cream for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the sugar with the ½ cup water in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
Add the plantain to the boiling sugar syrup, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the plantain and drain.
Butter a 9-inch square cake pan heavily. Spread the plantain slices evenly over the bottom.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Place the butter and molasses in a saucepan over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour in the boiling water and stir. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients, stirring, and then beat vigorously. Pour the batter over the sliced plantain.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Let the pan stand for 5 minutes on a rack, then loosen with a spatula and turn the cake upside down on a serving plate.
Cut into squares, top with whipped cream, and serve warm or cooled.
Serves 6 - 8.
country : Liberia
course : dessert
source : Flavors of Africa : Spicy African Cooking - From Indigenous Recipes to Those Influenced by Asian and European Settlers / Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilan, and Melissa T. Stock