Banana Cake

I would like to say that I was extremely efficient and used a load of over-ripe bananas in this recipe and it made me feel all good inside because I wasn’t letting anything go to waste. The truth is that I developed a weird craving for banana cake until it reached such proportions that I couldn’t do anything except make the damn cake. I wrote a shopping list and headed off to find some ripe bananas. Well, as I’m sure you are aware, asking for a ripe banana in the depth of mid-winter doesn’t really do much to save the world. So let’s move on from the world-saving-feel-goodness of this recipe. I bought Fairtrade bananas. Perhaps that helps?

Upon my return home I discovered that I’d only bought half the quantity of bananas needed for the recipe. Whoops. Still, I sallied forth, putting years of training to the test by making the recipe with half the required amount of bananas. Personally, I find the method a little weird and I doubt I’ll make it this way again but it did work so clearly these people know more than me about banana cake. I also used a crème fraîche, double cream combination instead of sour cream – only because I had them to hand but actually it worked out super well. The cake was moist and banana filled, despite the low quantity. It’s dense and heavy. The chocolate icing is dark and slightly bitter which pairs well with the cake. My classmates managed to finish it in a fairly short space of time so it’s clearly a crowd pleaser. Good for when you’ve bought too many bananas…

Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing
Adapted from The Primrose Bakery Book
400g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb
280g butter, softened
60g crème fraîche
60g double cream
some vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
350g soft brown sugar
4 eggs
250g bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a bowl beat together the flour, bicarb and butter until light and fluffy. (This is the part I found weird. Why would you do this first? Why not beat the butter and sugar as per normal cake? I’ll have to try it again and let you know…) In a small bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, double cream, vanilla (just a drop or two) and lemon before adding it to the butter mixture. Add in the sugar followed by the eggs and finally stir in the mashed bananas. Pour this into a cake tin lined with baking paper and bake for 2 hours. (Not kidding. It really takes this long.)  

Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning out onto a rack to cool completely. Ice with the chocolate icing.

Chocolate Icing
Adapted from the Primrose Bakery Book
175g dark chocolate
90g plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
90g double cream

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and microwave in batches of 30 seconds until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. If it splits, add in a extra tablespoon of creme fraiche and stir until it comes back together. It shouldn’t split, but you never know. Pour this over the banana cake and allow to set before slicing. I only made about half the original amount suggested because I like less icing rather than more.

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