How predictable is it that I make banana cake with old bananas? Almost as predictable as my husband and stepson intentionally leaving the bananas to go brown for exactly that reason.
I have made it every which-way possible by now, experimenting with different nuts, seeds and flours in an attempt to inject a little hippie health food into the mix.
I have settled on this way of doing this cake now. It's got a lovely mix of nuts and seeds, but is still unabashedly cakey, made with butter and white flour. I started adding very dark chocolate a while back and now I can't leave it out, as I think it really adds a nice counter to the banana's sweet perfume.This is a perfect afternoon tea or coffee companion and I think it would have done really well in the Seattle coffee shops I used to practically live in in the '90's....sigh, happy Mem'ries of Bauhaus and B&O Espresso....
It looks a bit like a health food, but I promise, it's super moist and sticky and absolutely scratches any "I need a piece of cake" itch.
Banana, Nut and Seed Cake with Dark Chocolate Chunks
Makes 12 slices
6 reeeallly, ugly-brown ripe bananas
175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
210g (7.5oz) golden caster sugar
105g (3.7oz) light brown sugar
330g (11.5oz) plain (all purpose) flour
50g (2 oz) ground almonds
1 tsp bicarbonate (baking) soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
50g (2 oz) each: Flax seeds, walnut pieces, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
100g (3.5oz) good 85% dark chocolate, cut into small chunks.
Turn your oven on to 150C (300F) and grease and line a 23cm (9") square cake tin (or round, whatever.)**
Cream together the butter and both sugars for 5-6 minutes, until really light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated before adding the next.
While that's happening, peel and mash the bananas, then add stir them into the butter/sugar/eggs mixture with the ground almonds. Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, then stir into the mix until just combined, then do the same with the nuts, seeds and chocolate.
Tip this mixture into your prepared cake tin, making a little dent in the centre to compensate for rising. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes- 1 hour 25, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out clean.
Cool on the counter for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling at room temp before slicing into.
**To make this loaf-sized, multiply the ingredients by 2/3 and bake for 45 -55 minutes.