Sweet Plantain Caramel Spice Cake
1 fully ripe plantain
1/3 cup water
1 tsp maple or agave syrup
40g coconut oil or vegan butter
300g non-dairy milk, room temperature
90g coconut oil, melted (virgin or refined is fine)
200g organic cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
210g all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Blend
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
Prepare the pan by greasing it and lining the bottom fully with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel the plantain and slice it into long, thin strips. It should yield about 5 long pieces. Lay them on the parchment paper in the prepared pan in a row. Set the pan aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, swirl the sugar, water, and syrup together. Let it bubble and the sugar dissolve, until it becomes a deep amber brown.
Remove from heat and the quickly whisk in the coconut oil or vegan butter. Oil might not fully incorporate, but butter definitely will - don't stress or overmix if using oil (that's when it hardens). Pour caramel over the plantain and - with an oven mitt on because the caramel is hot! - tip the pan around so that the caramel covers the bottom. Set aside while you make the cake.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until the spice is visibly well-distributed. Pour into the bowl with wet ingredients and whisk until a thick batter forms.
Pour the batter over the prepared plantains and caramel. Give the pan a couple of thwacks against the counter to let out air bubbles, then put in the oven.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, checking with a toothpick inserted into the center to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool completely before flipping. Serve with a sprinkle of fleur de sel or Maldon.
Makes one 8-inch or 10-inch layer