15 July 2013
the best ever banana cake...
So it seems there's been a fair lapse in between recipes and for that I'm super sorry. I mean you probably thinking how mega slack is she, too lazy to even bake us a cake or roast us a chicken? But in actual fact somehow one thing snowballs into another and you end up doing almost a 20 hour work day and you can't remember how you got there or what your name is at the end of it all. And at the end of a week like that you'd be lucky to get a recipe on making vegemite toast from me.
I'm coming to you now with an apology offering. I give to you the BEST. EVER. banana cake you are ever likely to encounter. If I was a cake this is the type of cake I'd like to be. Simple, uncomplicated and the ultimate crowd pleaser. I dare anyone to make this cake and not like it/devour it in one sitting. Totally no judgement if you do. I definitely understand. This is exactly the type of cake you can pull together when you've realised it's midday and you have visitors coming round in an hour. Delicious, easy and a total winner. Now who wouldn't want to be a cake like that?!
Not only is it the best banana cake out there, it is probably one of the simplest. None of this creaming butter and sugar together. No complicated triple sifting of flour. Just pop everything a stage at a time into a food processor and you're off. I know a cake in a food processor sounds pretty sacrilegious but trust me on this. Plus it makes the washing up soooo much easier. I can't possibly describe to you the smell of a banana cake baking in the oven. There's something totally different about the smell of banana cake compared to any other cake. Along with vanilla and the scent of your mums perfume, it's probably one of the most comforting smells known to me. If a smell could give you a big bear hug, this'd be the one. Or maybe it's just me, and you're totally looking at me like a weirdo thinking "cake smells can't hug you". But if you're into torture and testing your will power this is the cake for you. Because the half an hour it takes in the oven to cook could be equated to some form of chinese water torture. It took all my strength to not whip open the oven door and get stuck in to a slice of cake. If you're anything like me, I'm kind of reluctant to use a recipe that requires buttermilk. Not because I don't love buttermilk, but because you can only seem to buy half a litre of it, and I'll only use a third of a cup for a recipe and then it'll end up sitting in the fridge for a few weeks until I decide it has definitely curdled and it's okay to throw it out now. So to help counteract buttermilk wastage I've added a buttermilk glaze icing. For more buttermilk user-uppering recipes you might also be keen to check out these buckwheat pancakes or this fattoush salad. Lets help end buttermilk wastage together. The Best Ever Banana Cake
recipe adapted from Belinda Jeffery's "Mix and Bake"
buttermilk icing my own recipe
2-3 super ripe bananas (to yield 1 cup mashed)
1 1/3 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
100 ml buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
3 tsp buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180ºC, and butter and flour a bunt cake tin (or just a regular round cake tin if you like.)
Mash the bananas, and measure out one cup. Place into a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add the sugar and the eggs and whiz together for about a minute, until well incorporated. Gradually add cubes of the softened butter and continue to whiz for a further minute or two, or until the batter is thick and creamy. Now add in the buttermilk and vanilla, and pulse until just combined. Add in the flour, baking powder and bicarb soda, and very gently pulse in two or three quick bursts, or until just combined, as any over working of the mixture here will make the cake tough.
Pour mixture into your prepared cake tin, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Being careful not to open the oven until 30 minutes is up or it'll sink! Remove from the oven and sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Gently remove from cake tin and leave to cool completely.
In the meantime for the buttermilk glaze, mix together the icing sugar and buttermilk until smooth. Gently spoon the icing over the cake while it's still slightly warm, and the icing will drip beautifully down the sides. Best eaten immediately, or will last in an airtight container for a few days.