Banana chocolate tortes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
8 ounces Valrhôna bittersweet
chocolate, finely chopped
Brandied brown butter sauce:
1/4 cup milk
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, such as Land O’Lakes
3 tablespoons brandy
2 firm bananas
Make the banana chocolate tortes:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom and side of eight individual angel food cake pans. Lightly dust the sides and bottoms of the pans with flour and tap out the excess.
2. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry mixture onto a large piece of waxed paper and set aside.
3. In a 41/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and oil until blended. At low speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. While continuing beating at low speed, add the flour mixture. Continue to beat and add the bananas. Stir in the chocolate.
5. Divide the batter evenly and scrape into the prepared pans, filling about 3/4 full. Bake the tortes for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the tortes in the pan set on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert the tortes onto a wire rack.
Make the brandied brown butter sauce:
6. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, butter and brandy. Set the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Drizzle the sauce over the surface of the warm tortes, allowing it to sink in. Let the tortes cool completely.
Garnish the torte:
7. Slice the bananas thinly and fan fruit over the top of the torte. Sprinkle with a thin layer of granulated sugar.
Caramelize the tortes:
8. Using a household propane torch, caramelize the top of the tortes by heating the sugar with the flame until it melts and then turns to a dark amber caramel. Serve immediately.
Position a rack near the top of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Place the tortes on a baking sheet and place under the broiler and broil 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar melts and turns to a dark amber caramel. Serve immediately.
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