This is my boyfriend’s favourite cake recipe – and believes me he likes a lot of cakes! It’s a great recipe for using up leftover bananas and can be adjusted to your taste.
Recipe: Banana Cake
- 75ml Sloe Gin (or any other spirit)
- 100g Raisin / Sultanas
- 5 x Ripe Bananas (the sort that you are afraid to eat)
- 2 x Large Eggs
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 125g Butter (half a standard pack in the UK)
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 x tsp Salt (I use Maldon which is very flaky, if you are using pouring salt halve the amount)
- 60g Walnuts (Chopped)
- 175g Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat the oven to 170°C / GM 3
- Put the raisins into a pan with the alcohol and bring to the boil. Set aside and leave the liquid to rehydrate the fruit.
- Melt the butter – I put it into the microwave on medium for about 1 minute and leave it on the side to melt completely.
- Put all of the dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a bowl and mix (flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt and the chopped walnuts).
- In a big mixing bowl, break the eggs and the melted butter (make sure that the butter isn’t too hot otherwise you’ll get scrambled eggs!)
- Mash the bananas with a fork. I tend to use the stab then smush with a fork method, which I think is easier on the hands.
- Add the bananas to the egg mixture. Once this has mixed thoroughly add the raisins (if there is still some liquid in the bottom don’t worry) and the vanilla extract. I love vanilla so add as much as possible.
- Next add the dry ingredients one third at a time. Try not to mix too much or you’ll activate the gluten and the cake will be tough.
- Tip the mix into a loaf tin pre-lined with ready-made loaf tin liner. You can use normal baking parchment but it takes more time and can be a bit fiddly.
- Put into the already warm oven for about an hour.
- The cake is cooked once a skewer comes out clean.
You can use any dried fruit that you like. I have made it with apricots and dates before and it was really good.
If you don’t have any spirits in the house it works just as well with tea (earl grey adds a slightly perfumed characteristic). The main thing that you want to do is rehydrate the fruit so that they are lovely and plump in the finished cake.
Any nuts will be good – I have used macadamias and they are fabulous (probably better than walnuts but more expensive).