Banana Upsidedown Cake


3 small/medium sized bananas
2 cups sugar
4 tbsps (1/2 stick) butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
½ tsp coarse salt
½ c clarified butter
2 eggs
½ c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 325*F. Halve bananas lengthwise, then crosswise.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar with about 2 tablespoons water (so the mixture looks like damp sand). Melt over high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar caramelizes. When the caramel is dark amber, add the butter and stir to combine. Pour mixture immediately into an 8-inch cake pan. Arrange the bananas in the caramel, cut side down.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine the remaining sugar and the clarified butter. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, on at a time. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the batter a third at a time. Pour the batter over the bananas and bake until the cake springs back and begins to pull away from the sides, about 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.