Ah I’ve missed this place. It’s been a while since I last logged in and I’ve been itching to write for ages. But I’ve been working on something new and exciting that’s taking up a bit of time right now (and I am DYING to share it with you all).
Other than crazy exciting projects it has been a busy few weeks. There have been trips to Spain (stunning Cadiz), Star Wars Secret Cinema (errrr… amazing, Never even seen Star Wars and bloomin loved it), house purchases (everything crossed) and lots of aperol spritzes – well, it is summer after all.
The not so fun bit was going to see my dentist a few weeks ago. I still hate seeing people for the first time so I avoided it like the plague. However I knew that pregnancy and the stress of this last year had ruined my teeth and I had to go before my pregnancy exemption ran out. Turns out my nail biting and jaw grinding have gotten pretty bad and that my teeth have been breaking. So I got fitted for a mouth guard, which I’m sure will be oh-so-sexy, and my lovely dentist rebuilt one of my broken front teeth (I’ve also since stopped biting my nails). On top of a few other things, I just think he’s a legend so I decided to make him a cake to say thanks. How else do you thank a dentist? Sugar, clearly.
So, with an abundance of bananas at home this beautiful loaf was created. I made two, as I had loads (shoot loot) and was fortunate enough to try some of the 2nd one. It was a huge hit with my family and judging by the lovely thank you card I received yesterday from my dentists surgery, it was a huge hit with them too.
BANANA CAKE WITH SEA SALT CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Serves 8 – 10
- 4 large or 5 medium very ripe bananas
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 60g caster sugar
- 150ml mild olive oil (or other flavourless oil)
- 1/2 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 75g natural yoghurt
- 225g wholemeal or regular plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- A good pinch of fine sea salt
- 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 175g icing sugar
- 1/2 x batch of homemade sea salted caramel (you can make the whole batch and just store the rest in the fridge… you know, for a rainy day)
- A little bit of almond brittle (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180/ 350/ gas mark 4. Line a 1.25L loaf tin with greaseproof paper and leave to one side.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, vanilla, eggs and yoghurt. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice. Mash in the sugar and then whisk into the oil mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into the bowl, and tip in any of the roughage from the flour that is left in the sieve (if using wholemeal). Fold into the banana mixture with a large metal spoon and pour into the lined cake tin. Pop the tin into the middle of the oven and bake for around 50 minutes, until the cake is cooked through. Check with a skewer, but be prepared for a little residue, as the cake is naturally quite damp. However if it still looks a little raw pop back in for a further 10 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Whilst the cake is cooling make the buttercream. Beat the butter in a free standing mixer (or with an electric hand whisk) for a few minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 5 minutes until incredibly pale and smooth. Add a few tablespoons of the sea salted caramel and beat in for 1 more minute. When the cake is completely cool top with the buttercream and finish by rippling in a couple of more tablespoons of sea salted caramel, letting it run down the sides a little too. Finish with crushed almond brittle, bronze sprinkles, crushed dried banana or nothing at all, just leave it in all its rippled glory.