Put some real into reality…

I must confess that I am one of those people who watches the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I don’t really like it but some how get sucked in. I really haven’t like a Bachelor since Andrew Firestone and I did like Trista the first Bachelorette. Though Trista’s pink extravaganza wedding on TV did give my husband a slight heart attack as pink is my favorite color. I think he envisioned that I would want that too. I did not. But more power to her and very sweet of Ryan to go along with it.

If you watch the show(and even if you don’t) most of you probably know that things don’t work out on that show. They work out on the show but usually a few weeks(sometimes months) after the show ends they somehow are not together. Some speculate that no one can fall in love that fast. I can’t jump on that bandwagon as I was engaged to be married after 5 weeks of knowing my husband. The difference is though that we didn’t go on group dates with people or see each other once a week. We pretty much spent the majority of our time together. Some speculate it is doomed because now the only people who go on there are the ones who want to launch a career in television and what not. This could have some validity but even actors and actresses need love too.
I think the down fall of the show are the dates themselves. You often will catch the girls going on and on about what a fun time it is with the guy…how it’s always an adventure. Of course it is an adventure, you just got back from skiing in the Swiss Alps. And the Bachelor didn’t plan the dates…ABC did(oh yeah, they paid for it too). He is not the romantic one that set up a table for two in the meadow. In reality you would have to haul all that out yourself. Clean up after your ate. Then take it all back to the car. Then someone would have to go and clean the dishes afterwards. If  guy who planned the date went home and washed them…then that would be romantic. ;)

I think for the program to be successful it should be in an everyday setting. Make them go to work instead of living in a mansion getting to sun tan by the pool all day. Let the other person see how you handle work stress. Actually live somewhere comparable to where you live now(like a two bedroom apartment instead of the 10,000 square foot home they have you in). I want to see them have the kind of dates you have when you are in a long term relationship. You know the ones where you planned to go home and make a romantic dinner but you are just too tired from work. So instead the two of you swing by Taco Bell and end up sitting on the couch(together though) watching 80’s movies on TBS(the kind that have more commercials that actual movie). Real life action. I would pay to see some of these girls(who are always dressed in ball gowns??) putting on used shoes and throwing back beer and neon orange nachos down at the local bowling lanes on $0.99 game night. Let’s put some reality into these reality shows shall we!
Speaking of the real deal…this crumb cake is where it is at. An experiment of sorts as it was a throw it all together and hope it all comes out kind of deal. I have a small addiction to either caramelizing pineapple or bananas and putting them over vanilla ice cream. While watching my bananas bubble away in brown sugar and butter the other day I got to thinking wouldn’t it be yummy to make it into a cake. So I did. You can make them with or without the flambe part and you don’t need the splash of liquor if you aren’t going to set those babies on fire. Though not a true bananas fosters, the flavor is definitely there. Oh and the caramel in the picture is just some Fran’s caramel sauce…no need to make your own when you can buy quality like that.

P.S. This is a good follow up to Three Cheese Hazelnut Pasta.

Banana Fosters Crumb Cake

For the Crumbs:
5 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chopped walnuts

For the Bananas:

2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP banana liqueur
2 TBSP dark rum
2 large bananas, sliced in rounds

For the Cake:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½  tsp ground cinnamon
¼  tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
banana fosters mixture

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

For the Crumb: Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curd and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir r the nits and press a piece of plastic against the surface. Refrigerate until needed.

For the Bananas:

Combine the butter and sugar in a flambe pan or skillet.
Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.(if not using liqueur, just add bananas)
When the banana slices soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. (again, if not using rum, simply take bananas out at this time)
Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum.
When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place aside to cool until needed.

To make the cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one by one, beat for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract. Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled-it will soon smooth out. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2(begin with the dry ingredients). You will have a thick, cream batter. Add the banana fosters mixture and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. You don’t really want chunks of bananas, you want them integrated like you would in  banana bread.
Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the refrigerator and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. There’s no need to try to get even pieces-these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter,. Pressing them down ever so slightly.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.

Cake recipe adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin 2006
Banana Fosters recipe adapted from Brennan’s Resturant

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  1. Oh Peabody – you have outdone yourself! That cake looks so scrumptious – I would like a big piece with a cup of coffee, please. I love the idea of combining Bananas Foster and crumb cake — 2 of the most delicious things!

  2. That looks AMAZING!!!! I love banana’s foster (my favorite), and making it in a cake… even better.

  3. Great idea….it looks so good.

  4. Yum — I wouldn’t even need the caramel sauce, because the cake looks so delicious. Great adaptation!

  5. Carole Resnick says:

    How did you know that I have banans in the use or lose stage?

  6. I know what it is to get sucked in when it gets to programs you don’t even like…

    That Crumb Cake looks delicious!



  7. Oh thats fantastic. Bananna Foster Crumb Cake is brilliant.Im skeptical of the whole Bachelor thing, but it does make amusing stories. If they fail or not, at least they figure out what they really want from a life partner.

  8. Yum! I love bananas foster and I love crumb cakes, so this is a match made in heaven!

  9. Haha, oh yes, I too am guilty of watching that show :0) Hooray for a “real deal” Banana Fosters Crumb Cake!! :0)

  10. Oh. My. Gawd. Pass a piece this way, please!

    I used to get sucked into those shows, too… I gave them up for things like So You Think You Can Dance since my hubby just can’t handle TOO much of my crap TV! ;)

  11. Mmmm! What a great idea – this looks delicious! I agree about the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows – not very realistic….my hubby and I are more the “grab Taco Bell and watch 80’s movies on TBS” kind of people!! ;-)

  12. I am such a reality show junkie…I get so made fun of…but, I can’t help it!

    I love this Banana Foster Crumb Cake, although I must be honest and say to flambe scares the heck out of me! I have yet to try it with the fear my house will go up in flames. I need to get over this, I know!

  13. i love bananas foster! that first picture is mouth watering delicious! i’m sure you always bake from scratch, but if you’re ever in the mood for something like this and want to “cheat” with a box mix, try this: http://good-eats-n-sweet-treats.blogspot.com/2007/10/overripe-bananas.html

    i’m addicted to the bachelor/bachelorette too. i couldn’t believe that DeAnna picked Jesse over Jason…but after seeing them together again after the final rose, i could see they are really happy together. my theory is that very few of the bachelor couples end up together but all of the bachelorette couples usually work out. trista is still w/ryan and mary is still with that fishing guy. i think (or hope) that DeAnna and Jesse will last too…they’re the first couple to be so in love after the show to have actually set a wedding date so soon! i’m really hoping ABC will pay for their wedding so we can see it :)

  14. Hi Peabody,
    There must be some universal banana baking mojo going on today. I baked with Bananas too.
    Please come to my blog. You have an award. :0)

  15. That looks and sounds so good! What a great idea!

  16. Oh, I totally agree… Though I wonder how the ratings will fare focusing on lives we might as well be living, lol :) I do watch plenty of reality shows and competitions but I avoid the Bachelor. Somehow all the women are bimbos and the one or two intelligent women are really unpleasant.

    That is one beautiful banana cake! How did the twist turn out? Was the caramelized flavor evident throughout the cake? It looks really decadent :)

  17. That looks so delicious! Thanks for making it so you can choose whether or not to add rum and liqueur – I’m not an alcohol person myself, so that works great for me! I’ll have to give this a try; it looks too good not to!

  18. that last shot looks so decadently irresistible!! I love the idea of making bananas foster into a cake, especially since that will travel anywhere (i.e. on my road trip this coming weekend). I may have to make a test batch before then, and then maybe a couple more to share with the neighbors : )

  19. first and foremost, GORGEOUS cake. caramel sauce makes me swoon.
    secondly, i won’t lie–i watched the bachelorette this season. i have mixed feelings about the whole set-up, but it’s entertaining to watch and i always love when the underdog comes through in the end. :)

  20. I agree, there is very little reality in reality tv. My husband tends to watch the kitchen ones, like Gordon Ramsey, but even these are set up to a certain extent. As we are both in the business it just makes me mad at how stupid people can be. Even though I know it is all cut and edited and not reality at all. That said, your cake looks yummy and I can never resist caramel.

  21. Anything with caramel and butter thrown together is just g-o-o-d! Well done!

  22. Fantastic idea! The only part I’ll miss is setting the Foster to blaze.

  23. Peabody, the cake looks so delicious!

    My son was married just last Saturday – and the bride had hot pink bridesmaid dresses – and the guys (groomsmen) had pink and white striped ties! LOL. Their cake was very retro – pinks and browns, and the table settings were pale pink, hot pink, and black, with polka dots!

  24. Your post made me laugh…I sometimes catch bad TV shows (no cable in my house) when I just want to zone out. I watched some of the Bachlorette…and thought some of the same things. Also, nice cake!

  25. Sinfully good!
    I’m a Bachelor watcher too.
    I like Pioneer Woman’s idea for her cousin Bachelor series. Put the gals out on the farm and let them duke it out that way :)

  26. What a great cake idea! Looks so moist and delicious!

  27. I think that in this one amazing post you managed to completely sum up everything that’s wrong with tv celebrity culture!!! (And yes … I too get sucked into Bachelor/Bachelorette!)

    Love the cake!

  28. hmm… not the greatest banana fan here, but that looks just delicious… maybe I’ll convert myself… ;)

  29. Yep, I’m at least an occasional Bachelor watcher. I blame it on my addiction to DWTS. :D

    And thanks… I’ve got a couple of bananas aging not-quite-so-gracefully on the counter; it looks like my office is going to get a Monday morning Peabody treat!

  30. Oh I think I could be happy with this with coffee in the morning or following any dinner!

  31. I think I could watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette if it was in the real situation you outlined. Heck, I’d probably be hooked! And I’d really like a piece of your cake right now (and the pasta)!

  32. OMG that looks fantastic! And you know what, everyone needs their pleasures! I must say though, give me the caramel sauce and cake and LAW AND ORDER!!! :-)

  33. Mm, sounds wonderful! I’d much prefer this real treat over “reality” tv any day.

  34. I really don’t watch TV, but if I did, I could see my easily getting sucked into watching the Bachelor! My mom has a love/hate relationship with it. She hates watching the Bachelor making out with everyone, but she loves to see who finally gets the prize! :)
    I just love any cake with bananas. Actually, I just love bananas, period. My mom loves bananas too, maybe I’ll make this for her while she cuddles up on the sofa for her Bachelor fix!

  35. Oh MY…..
    Oh my my my my….
    Thanks Peabody.

  36. Amazing. This is the kind of dessert that I’d happily eat for breakfast, every single day.

  37. Peabody, you know what my weakness is? Caramelized pineapples and bananas! So naturally, I’m tempted to lick my screen. As for your commentary of the Bachelor/ette… I couldn’t agree more. I got sucked in this most recent season because I felt a bit bad for DeAnna and how she was treated by the previous Bachelor. {sigh…} Depending on who the next Bachelor is, I just might be sucked in once again – lol

  38. well, i have to admit i do not like reality tv so i really cannot comment on the bachelor but bananas foster crumb cake? yes, i like that very much! looks scrumptious!

  39. OK Peabody, a couple of things…
    1. first and foremost..YUM! This sounds amazing.
    2. I totally agree with you on putting the real in reality! I have been saying that for years now! Kuddos to the brilliant minds!


  40. I’ll take this real deal anyday, caramel sauce and all. Wonderful Peabody, but not surprised you always come up with such great treats to tempt us.

  41. I don’t think I’ve watched the Bachelor since Andrew Firestone. Now a “real life” reality show like you described – I’d love to watch that!! And I think I could eat a slice of this cake everyday and be happy.

  42. Between the Great looking cake and the Outrageous looking Pasta I would be in a food coma right now!

  43. Awesome! I am marking this as a “to make in the future”. It sounds great!

  44. I get sucked in by those reality shows too… so bad, I know. haha.
    your crumb cake looks awesome!

  45. Oh my goodness I completely want to make this ASAP!! I love crumb cake and combining it with banana’s foster is genius.

  46. I’m Haley, Key Ingredient’s Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this recipe and photo on our blog. We realize it is taken from another source, but we’ll be sure to note that…we just feel you’ve done a great job putting this meal together! Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)


  47. i picked a really bad day to start a diet. i keep trying not to look, but there’s a strange magical pull to this recipe. must make it, must make it, time to make the cake.

  48. Crumb cake and Fran’s caramel sauce? Sign me up!

  49. that would make for a good show–where they cook to win over the bachelor’s/bachelorette’s heart…it would work for me! Especially with a crumbcake like that:)

  50. Oh my. Having this after your Hazelnut Pasta is a surefire way to get a food coma. Looks rich and delicious.


  1. […] thought I would take a little time to update you on some previous posts. The Bachelor: Another one bites the dust. Shocking as you may find this, this week, Matt Grant(the London Bachelor) was dumped by his […]

  2. […] I left out the alcohol, only because I didn’t have the right stuff on hand.  Shameful, I know!  The cake turned out great, though I may have over-blended the bananas into the batter.  One other tip: when she says to put a cookie sheet under the pan, don’t ignore that part!  My pan overflowed a bit and my kitchen is still stinky from those burned bits.  I would also recommend serving with caramel sauce (which we did not)…you can see my slice of cake below looking lonely and forlorn without his caramel sauce.  You can find the recipe here. […]

  3. […] For the Crumb Topping adapted from here. […]

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