Banana cake with Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream

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I made this recipe last night for a work celebration (at my real job!) It is the cake on the left, with hazelnut brittle in the front

The Banana cake recipe comes from Little and Friday, and it is amazing. The link is attached here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10795656 I then made Caramel Swiss meringue butter cream, and Hazelnut brittle to top.

The caramel buttercream came from this recipe by Call Me Cupcake. She is one of my favourite food bloggers, take a look through the rest of her posts! http://call-me-cupcake.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/banana-cupcakes-with-caramel-frosting.html
banana cake

Make the Caramel one day ahead to allow it to cool as otherwise it may split the buttercream.

Swiss Meringue buttercream
2 cups of sugar
500mls of cream
3 egg whites
120 grams sugar
135 grams butter, softened and chopped

Place the first measure of sugar in a small bowl, and add water until the sugar resembles wet sand. Bring to the boil but do not stir, brush down the sides with a pastry brush if any sugar starts to burn. Boil until the sugar has turned golden in colour, if the sugar is colouring at different rates you can swirl the pan (but don’t stir!)
In another small saucepan heat the cream to boiling. Remove both from heat and slowly pour the cream into the sugar while stirring. It will puff up so be careful. Beat until smooth and set aside.

When you are ready to make the Buttercream, pour the egg whites & sugar into a clean, heatproof stainless bowl (I use my mixer bowl if you have a metal one) and place over a double boiler on the stove. The water under the bowl should be simmering. Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly so that they don’t curdle, watch the temp as you don’t want scrambled eggs. Rub some of the mixture between your fingers to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and whip until white, fluffy and cool. This could take up to 10 minutes. Start adding the chopped butter a few cubes at a time. If it looks like curdling keep whipping. If it cools too quickly pop it back on the heat. If it is too hot and the butter is melting rather than mixing pop it in the fridge. Once all the butter is added, slowly add 1 cup of the caramel you have made and mix well

Hazelnut brittle
1 cup of hazelnuts
1.5 cups of sugar
hazelnut

Place the hazelnuts into a tea towel and crush using a mallet (or your rolling pin) Place into a tray that is lined with baking paper or a silicon mat. Remove any loose skins.
Put the sugar into a small saucepan and add enough water to look like wet sand. Place on the stove and boil (as you would making the caramel above) Once the sugar has turned amber in colour, pour over the hazelnuts to ensure they are all coated. Leave overnight to set.

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