Once again I found myself with a surplus of rapidly blackening bananas and a need to bake. Actually that’s not quite true. I’ve gotten into the habit of peeling bananas and then popping them into a box in the freezer as soon as they are past their best. Which is working very well in terms of the ripe bananas in the kitchen. However, the box has to be managed so that it doesn’t take over the freezer.
I need space for other items like berries. Gooseberries top and tail marvellously directly from the freezer so there is a wonderful bounty waiting for me to have the time on the right day. There’s also a couple of kilos of raspberries yet to be preserved. As you can guess, there are plenty of berry recipes to appear on the blog in the near future!
It’s the time of the year where I turn my eye to the deep freeze. I need plenty of space soon for pork and I’m slowly preserving the food we’ve grown at the allotment (even though it has been sparse this season).
Butter, in case you didn’t know, freezes extremely well. As do eggs once they are removed from their shell. Let’s face it I am probably going to have to find space for a third freezer soon enough.
I’m calling this banana cake although it is a banana ‘bread’ mixture because the resultant bake is has a cake-like texture and is remarkably filling.
To increase the pecan flavour, dry roast the pecan nuts in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven after 10 minutes and allow to cool before crushing so that you can add to the cake batter. Reserve 20 or so nuts to place on top of the cake when it has just baked.
Note: Before baking always make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. Obviously if you have stored your ingredients in the freezer make sure that they are defrosted and at room temperature!
[recipe][recipe title=”Banana Pecan Cake” servings=”12″ time=”1 hour 20 minutes” difficulty=”easy”]
- 60g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g golden syrup
- 2 medium eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 100g crushed pecans
- 4 ripe bananas
Preheat a fan oven to 170°C. Grease and flour a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin extremely well. If you do this properly, then the loaf will slide straight out.
Beat together the sugar, butter and golden syrup until they are well combined together,, the batter will become light, fluffy and nearly double in size. Add the eggs and beat well, it will turn a little curdled but don’t worry as it will be fixed once you add the flour. Pour in the flours, baking powder and ground ginger. Beat well again and you will get a stiff mixture. Add the pecans and mix again.
Peel and slice the bananas. Mix gently into the batter. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin. Use a spoon to make a small well down the middle of the mixture in the tin. This will allow the cake to rise and bake evenly. Scatter the reserved pecans on top of the cake batter.
Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Test the cake using a skewer or cocktail stick. If it comes out clean it is ready. If the skewer is sticky, bake the cake for a further 10 minutes before testing again.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to stand in the tin for 20 minutes before tipping out onto a cooling rack.[/recipe]
Some schools allow you to put home baking into lunchboxes on Fridays for a treat. A small slice of this cake is a lovely treat but if you’ve a school with a nut-ban (for good reason) substitute the pecans for oats. You’ll still want to toast the oats in the oven before adding to the mixture as it adds a wonderful flavour.
As you can see in the picture above I made double quantities so that I’d have 2 cakes. This cake freezes well. I recommend you slice the cake before freezing so that you only take out what you need on any given day. Insulate each slice with a piece of baking parchment (a quick wipe with a damp cloth once you’re finished and you can use the parchment again) or wax paper.