I actually planned to make a topsy turvy cake with Pippi Longstocking for celebrating my daughter's birthday with her grandparents and aunts. But since my son and I had been to the hospital and there was so much to catch up with I soon realized that I would never be able to make that cake in time and stay sane!
(I do believe that everything is possible - but it comes with a prize!)
So in the end I decided I will save the Pippi cake for the kids' party and make an easier quicker cake for the family celebration. At first I was at a loss about what to make. I did not want to make another chocolate cake. But my daughter does not like coconut. Just vanilla sounded too boring to me, too. Luckily I had saved the link to a gallery of homemade cakes at Country Living. They have such a nice selection of cakes! Check them out! I ended up making the banana-caramel cake.
And I was glad that I did! It was DIVINE! I am DEFINITITELY making this one again! The banana cake is put together quickly and it is rather easy to make it. The caramel icing is a bit more tricky. I have never made caramel before. I do recommend using a candy thermomether for this. I only had a meat thermometer - which I actually have never ever used before (and never ever will!). I figured it will work. My husband told me it will work. Well, it did work. Until the thermometer stopped when the temperature had ALMOST reached the necessary 238 degrees F. ALMOST! I tried a couple more times. There was no way to persuade the stupid thing to go higher than 230 degrees F. GRRRR. So I had to guess the rest ... Of course the icing ended up being too soft. It was kinda runny and I could not put all of it on the cake cause it simply ended up running off the cake ... Maybe in the end that was a good thing. The caramel icing is of course - as you would expect - rather sweet. It might have been too much if I would have put all of it on the cake. But I still would like to get it to the right consistency next time! Just added candy thermometer to my wish list! :-)
Okay, the cake does not really look very special! But believe me - it tastes ALOT better than it looks. ALOT!