Archive for category: banana

Banana sponge

A few years ago, my mother inherited my grandmother’s 9-inch sandwich cake tins. My grandmother had in-turn inherited the tins from her mother-in-law.  These cake pans have been making family birthday cakes for probably close to 100 years. They’re thin steel, not fancy, but there is something very special about them. In fact, the banana sponge that I invented yesterday turned out so amazingly well that I suspect that four generations of baking experience must have mystically infused the metal.  I’ll be intrigued to know if this recipe turns out equally beautiful cakes without the Hudson cake tins.

The recipe was something of an accident – which I suspect is often the case with many banana cake recipes.  My dad – the prime banana eater in my parent’s house – was flying to a conference in New Zealand. On heading out the door he called: “You’ll have to bake a banana bread as I won’t be around to eat all these.”  With morning and then afternoon tea visitors expected and only a scraping of thick cream in the fridge, we had every excuse to take his advice. The recipe is mostly Joy of Cooking – but uses different flour, sugar, yogurt and filling – which I say makes this a different cake.

Banana sponge

  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • a scraping of vanilla pod
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup extra thick double cream (or whipped cream)
  • 1 ripe banana sliced
  • icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base with baking paper and grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. Cream the butter and slowly add the caster sugar, followed by the brown sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at at time and beat to combine.  In a separate bowl, mix the banana, vanilla and yogurt  Gently fold the flour into the butter mixture in about three parts, alternating with the banana mixture.  Divide the mix between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Once cool, turn the base cake upside down and spread the facing side with thick cream, followed by the sliced banana. Invert the second cake and place this on top of the banana. Dust the top with icing sugar.

Banana cream sponge

Banana Loaf

There is a sign in our local green grocer that reads: ‘Please do not press our peaches and nectarines’. We need a sign like this on our fruit bowl, as Ila’s favourite activity of the moment is squishing bananas or pushing straws and crayons into soft stone-fruit. Yesterday she did a number on two bananas. They were so black by the evening that the only solution was to make banana loaf.

I was cleaning a mountain of dishes, and didn’t want to make much mess, so managed to make this entire cake using only one saucepan, a teaspoon and the kitchen scales. Clearly, I’m still inspired by last weeks gâteau au yaourt.

The cake disappeared in 5 minutes when I cut into it at my office this morning. However, that’s not exactly praise as my colleagues aren’t at all discerning when it comes to cake. This one is very moist at least, but I’m pretty sure that there is a better banana bread lurking out there waiting for me, so I expect to be coming back to amend this recipe in the near future.

Meanwhile, if you don’t like the sound of the cake, check out The Banana Song. We’re addicted to this in our house at the moment. It’s silly and a bit annoying, but Ila thinks it’s pretty funny and I’ll take it over The Wiggles any day.

Banana Loaf Cake

  • 125 g butter
  • 150 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • handful of sliver almonds

Mash the bananas. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the mashed banana, the vanilla and the beaten egg.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Fold this into the saucepan mixture, alternating with the milk. Pour the mix into a greased loaf tin, lined with a wide strip of baking paper (across the long edges) for easy removal. Scatter the top with slivered almonds and bake in a 180°C oven for 30-35 minutes.