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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Banana Cake

Bananas are breeding in my freezer.

Looking inside my freezer recently, I realised I had almost a dozen ripe, blackened bananas in there. The problem is, I don't like eating bananas once they have passed that perfect yellow stage. So they get stashed in the freezer.

After I realized that bananas were taking over, I had to make something with them. After a pot roast one Saturday night, I made this banana butterscotch pudding for dessert. I read through the recipe quickly and had in my head that it was a self saucing pudding. After pouring the liquid topping over the batter, I suddenly had second thoughts. Had I read the recipe correctly? Was it a self saucing pudding? Or was it a cake with syrup poured over to serve? Uh oh. I had already closed my laptop at that stage (and I had poured the liquid over already!) so I threw it in the oven and hoped that my memory wasn't failing me.

Banana pudding

Fortunately, the ole memory held up and it was a self saucing pudding. Unfortunately, it was so so sweet that we couldn't eat much of it. It would've been good if we had cream or ice cream to cut through the sweetness, but we didn't have anything of that sort in the house. It was a bit of a shame - if it hadn't been so sickly sweet it would've been really good!

Banana cake

My stash of frozen bananas also yielded two banana cakes. The first one I made for us, and we (mostly I) enjoyed it for morning tea over a few days. The second one I took into work. We constantly have morning tea at work – any excuse will do – staff leaving, staff starting, staff getting engaged, staff having babies, staff having a birthday, and even staff going on leave (seriously!). So my colleague and I decided that we would bring in cake one day – just because. Our pod got a lot of visitors when people slowly realised that there was cake on offer!

Banana cake

The recipe that I used is from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. It's probably the cookbook I've used the most. Not all the recipes in there are good – in fact, I have made a couple that are absolute duds – but the banana cake recipe is brilliant. The cake is soft and moist, with a pleasant banana flavour and a hint of cinnamon. I always reduce the total amount of sugar to 1 cup, but have left the recipe below as is.

Banana cake

Banana Cake

From Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2

Serves 8-10

125g (4 oz) butter, softened
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sor cream
1 cup roughly mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture. Add the cinnamon, sour cream and banana and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into a greased 26cm (10 in) fluted ring tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

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