Banana Hazelnut Upside Down Cake

Recently, I've been finding myself fancying bigger cakes. I feel like I've done all possible loaf cakes and got a bit tired of them. Don't get me wrong, I love them still and they are good for breakfast or a picnic in the park. But sometimes you want something fancy looking. Something to impress people with.
Now here is the story of my Banana Hazelnut Upside Down Cake: My kids seem to be a bit off bananas these days. Many very ripe ones end up in the freezer for future banana cakes. For this cake I used the basics of my Banana Date Loaf. Instead of putting the nuts into the cake, I put them on top and used some more bananas for extra sweetness.
The result: an utterly delicious and beautiful cake, naturally sweetened with dried dates and bananas, and just a little palm sugar for the hazelnut topping. It doesn't taste like a guilt-free cake, but it is (if you don't have a problem with the amount of butter being used, that is :-)

(Print Recipe)

1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Hazelnut Topping
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/3 cup butter

2 bananas, sliced

Yields one 9 inch cake
Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Grease 9 inch cake tin with closed bottom (don't use one with removable bottom or a spring form). 

Cake Base:
In a small pot, place finely chopped dates with milk. Cut in the butter and slowly bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. When all the butter has melted, take off the heat and let cool a little. Once it has cooled, stir in mashed bananas and the egg. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Set aside.

Hazelnut Topping: 
Melt the butter. Stir in the palm sugar. Chop the toasted hazelnuts and stir into butter sugar mixture.

Assembling and Baking the Cake: 
Spread hazelnut topping at the bottom of the greased cake tin. Cover with slices of banana. Pour the cake base batter on top of the sliced bananas. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting.