The Nutty Banana Loaf Cake
I’m trying to introduce more fruit into my diet. Partly, because I have a really sweet tooth (which is well documented by the numerous chocolate recipes I have previously posted) but mainly because I want to try and ensure that my diet is better balanced. As everyone knows, fruit contains lots of necessary vitamins, together with various other necessary bits and bobs and I thought it was high time that I improved my intake.
I’m not the biggest fan of eating fruit on its own; I prefer to have it served together with something. This could be with yoghurt, in cereal or with muesli, in a smoothie or even mixed together in a fruit salad. Another great way to inject some extra fruit into meal times, although admittedly slightly less nutritious, is in a dessert or cake.
I find banana loaf cakes a great way to use up bananas that have turned brown and are perhaps too ripe for eating. The banana becomes really sweet and soft, making it just right for cooking and adding to cakes.
The texture of this cake is improved by the addition of nuts. I have used ground hazelnuts, although almonds would make a good substitute. The apricot glaze is also optional. Apricot is really the only jam you can use for such a glaze as the taste is incredibly mild and doesn’t impede the overall taste in any way, it just adds a sheen that makes the cake look glossy and luxurious. However, as it doesn’t affect the taste at all, if you don’t have any apricot jam, or just don’t feel like making the glaze, it really doesn’t matter too much.
I usually make this in a loaf tin, I just find loaf cakes so much easier to store and slice. However, this time I decided to make the cake in a round tin (18inch), and the only adjustment was to increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes.
I like this cake slightly warm and served with ice-cream or thick cream. When served like this, it makes a delicious dessert. Although it is just as tasty served cooled with a cup of tea and some friends for company. The smell alone usually entices people and whenever I make this cake I am harassed to make it again!
- 2 really ripe bananas
- 150g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 130g soured cream
- 100ml Apricot Glaze (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line a 1 litre loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Puree or mash one of the bananas until smooth.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the ground hazelnuts, followed by the eggs.
- Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in the mixture and mix together well.
- Mix in the soured cream, followed by the banana puree.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes before removing from the oven and adding the remaining banana, sliced lengthways, in a line along the length of the loaf (this prevents the banana from sinking).
- Return to the oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack and strip off the baking parchment.
- Making the glaze is optional, but recommended as it gives the cake a nice sheen.
- Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze.
- Heat 100g of the jam in a pan with a little water until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
- Press through a sieve and then brush repeatedly on the top of the cake to form a glaze.
- Leave to cool and then serve.