Monday, 20 May 2013

Old is new again with Stephanie Alexander's Banana Cake

One ol' banana is all you need and the browner the better.  

This is our favourite banana cake recipe found in Stephanie Alexander's 'Kitchen Garden Companion' cookbook.  

Deliciously moist and light... this cake is perfect for any occasion!

Today, we made it in a loaf tin, as opposed to the round tin, and I much prefer this. 




















Banana Cake 

Cake Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 free range eggs, room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe banana (I use 1 medium banana as too much can make it dense and heavy)
few drops of pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal plain flour (plain is fine, however wholemeal gives it a rustic feel)
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or mixed spice)
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use natural yoghurt or milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar) 

Crumble Ingredients
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
60g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 cup plain flour 
2 tablespoons rolled oats

Method
1. Grease and line a 22cm cake tin. 
2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
3. To make the crumble topping, mix sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground ginger in a bowl. In another bowl, crumble butter into flour and oats with your fingers to make pea-sized pieces, then toss flour mixture with sugar mixture. Set aside until needed. 
4. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add banana and vanilla.
5. Sift flour, bi-carb soda, salt and cinnamon and add to banana mixture, alternating with buttermilk. 
6. Spoon into prepared tin and scatter the oatmeal crumble topping over the uncooked batter. 
7. Bake for 60mins with crumble topping in a round tin or 50mins without crumble. 65mins in loaf tin. *If cake starts to brown but needs to cook a little longer, cover with foil and return to oven.
8. Cool cake in tin on a cake cooling rack for just a few minutes before turning out onto the rack to cool completely.

To serve:  
As I don't use the 'crumble' part of the recipe, these are other ways I use to complement the cake. 
1. A simple dusting of icing sugar on top. The children love dusting the icing over cookie cutter shapes, or even Tupperware's Shape-O shapes are great too. 
2. Cream cheese icing. Mix 125g cream cheese, 50g softened butter and 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar in mixmaster until smooth. I add lemon zest and juice to this for a bit of zing.
3. Dollop of fresh cream, sour cream, vanilla ice-cream or dollop cream.
4. or simply enjoy warm out of the oven! 

How will you choose to enjoy your banana cake? I'd love to hear from you! 

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