Banana Cake (Banana and Tia Maria Cake) or back of the cupboard cake…..
Fancy a gooey dream of a banana cake?…..
The over ripe bananas have been sitting staring at me, in a curved kind of way, for a few days now. I hadn’t baked a banana cake in a very long time and it was time.
Now as you may have read in Jasmine’s Rum Cake 6 April, I’m not too sure if I really like rum, or at least. maybe not here. I can’t forget Jamaican Appletons either, for this reminds me of Joyce and dad Roy. But tonight when deciding what liqueur to use here my decision was made as there was no rum in the studio.
Delving into the back of the odd bottles of booze cupboard, the decision came down to Malibu, (too harse) Baileys, (Not for me.) or Tia Maria. None of which I really drink. Anyone got any ideas for a lost bottle of Benidictine? (funny that I never seem to have any gin in the cupboard….)
Jamaican Tia Maria is rum based but softer and has vanilla overtones. It smells and feels right to use.
This is a gooey banana dream cake, loosely based on a recipe by Lulu Grimes at Olive magazine.
4 tablespoons Tia Maria or rum or whatever you fancy
100 g sultanas or raisins
75 g butter and a little bit more to grease your tin
6 tablespoons golden syrup
100 g molasses sugar (see below)
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 g cashews, walnuts or pecans
225 g self-raising flour
Pour the Tia Maria or rum into a small pan, add the sultanas or raisins , bring to the boil then remove from heat and leave to cool a little while you get the rest of the stuff together.
Preheat oven 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and butter a large loaf tin. (I wish cake tin sizes were more obvious sometimes.) Mine measured 23 x 13 cm and that would be the smallest size needed for it.
Slice the bananas in half along their middles. Cut again to fit a layer, cut side down across the tin. Spoon golden syrup down it’s length.
Hopefully you’re lucky enough to have some softened butter at hand. If not, (and I don’t have a microwave.) then it’s a lot of squashing and getting it somewhere warm like an oven. It does make a difference to have softened butter, so be patient you don’t want melted butter. (Plan B would be keep a little butter out if you use it.)
So tip the butter (mine was still a bit hard but end result was great.) and the sugar into a food processor. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise (scissors are good for this.) and scrape the seeds in too. Whiz til smoothish or beat with a electric whisk…….. or beat the hell out of it with a wooden spoon. Then add the remaining banana and egg and beat/whiz again. Scrape the mix into a large bowl, using you hands roughly crumble in the nuts and then fold in the flour with the sultanas and any of their liquid.
Spread the cake mixture over the bananas evenly and bake for about 45 minutes and if you test with a skewer and it comes out clean it’s done.
Wait a few minutes as it is has molten lava edges and then turn out onto a big plate or tray. Best eaten warm standing at the oven.
Little notes: I used molasses sugar, as again, that’s what I have but muscovado or even caster sugar would work. I just liked the idea of the deepness of molasses sugar. Also I found a vanilla pod that was starting to dry out, so I gave it a little soak in boiling water to revive it and then scraped out the seeds into the mixture. But of course a teaspoon of extract would be good. Again I used cashews as they were calling to be used, and I had neither walnuts or pecans.
It’s a good idea to put a baking tray on the bottom of the oven as the hot syrup did bubble up and over the sides, but I’m reluctant to reduce the quantity.