Something for the weekend
Banana Loaf Cake
A homely cake which fills the house with a wonderful cakey fug which seductively lets everyone who enters know that you are truly a domestic goddess. A crisp crust and moist springy sponge. Kids love it. And the adults do too! It’s perfect for using up those deep brown spotted bananas that populate the fruit bowl.
We eat it plain. You can butter it. Or ice it, with a cream cheese icing, a la carrot cake, or a lemony butter or even lemony water icing. All are divine. Or how about a chocolate butter icing for a kiddies birthday cake (just bake it in a round tin).
It is divine still warm from the oven, but keeps well a few days too as the banana adds moisture. Ring the changes and cater to your individual crowd’s needs: add 100 g sultanas (soaked in rum or orange juice to make them extra plump), 100g chocolate chips or chunks, and/ or 60 g chopped pecans or walnuts.
With thanks to Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible for their combined techniques!
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda- sieved to remove lumps
150 g sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium, very ripe bananas (about 300 g peeled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon – optional
Pre-heat oven to 170 C
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix quickly to combine.
Melt the butter over a gentle heat.
I use a stick blender to whizz up the banana and egg and vanilla into a puree. You could also mash it by hand or use a food processor.
Add the banana puree mix, melted butter and lemon zest (if using) and mix up.
Pour into a standard loaf tin (23 cm x 13cm x 7 cm) or a 8 inch round tin, lined with baking paper.
Cook for about 35-40 mins for a loaf cake, (25-30 min for a round cake). Check after 20 mins, if it is browning too quickly cover with foil. Cooked when a skewer comes out clean.