6 blood tests [7 if you include the botched one], 4 medications, and endless blueberry smoothies later, the doctor still does not know what's wrong with me. BUT, this is what she does know. I am......*drum roll, please*
* Chronically anemic. Like, four year's worth happening right now.
* Severely dehydrated.
Until my iron levels improve drastically, they can't run any other blood tests, which include those for thalassemia or Vitamin D.
Oh, I am negative for strep and mono, which makes things odder because now there is no explanation for my spontaneously ballooned throat glands that made it impossible to breathe, let alone eat or talk.
Since the semi-diagnosis, I have been on a major diet change. Basically: all-iron-all-the-time. What does this mean for my dessert cravings? Hell.
But fear not, because I will not let anemia crush my baking! In fact, I just cranked out this killer recipe with some leftover bananas. The cake was made with walnuts, but substitute almonds for more iron. The eggs add some nutrients, too, although in this version, I used blended tofu since my roommate doesn't eat eggs. The result was still a moist cake with a great caramel crunch top!
Take that anemia!
CARAMEL WALNUT UPSIDE-DOWN BANANA CAKE
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup walnut halves or pieces [or almonds]
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup tofu, pureed
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Bring butter, sugar, and corn syrup to boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly until butter melts. Boil syrup 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Spread topping in prepared pan. Let topping cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Beat in tofu, then mashed bananas and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions just until combined. Spoon batter into pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Cut around cake. Place platter over pan. Holding pan and platter together, turn over. Let stand 5 minutes, then gently lift off pan. Cool at least 15 minutes for topping to set. Serve warm or at room temperature.