Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Chocolate and Banana Loaf Cake

This Sunday I decided to dig out my mixing bowls and do a bit of baking. It's been a while since I've done any sort of baking really, especially cake orientated. Biscuits and cupcakes have been my go-to recipes of late, alongside my bi-annual truffle-making-marathon (gifts for others...and maybe myself). So rather than sticking to my tried and tested, fail safe, palette pleasing recipes, I decided to try a recipe I had pinned on my 'Taste Buds' Pinterest board. Rather than let it get lost in a sea of pins that I probably wouldn't ever get round to actually doing, I decided to give it a go.

The original recipe can be found here on the BBC Good Food website. 

You will need:

100ml sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp cocoa powder
100g chocolate chips or chunks
175g very ripe bananas
3 medium eggs, 2 separated
50ml milk

For the topping

100g milk chocolate
100ml soured cream
Handful dried banana chips, roughly chopped

Bakes in 1hr 15mins and will make 1 large loaf cake

Method:

1)Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment (allow it to come 2cm above top of tin). 
2)Mix together the sugar, flour, bicarb, cocoa and chocolate in a large bowl.
3)Mash the bananas in a separate bowl and stir in the whole egg plus 2 yolks, putting the egg whites to one side, followed by the oil and milk.
 4)Beat the egg whites until stiff. Quickly stir the wet banana mixture into the dry ingredients, stir in a quarter of the egg whites to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the rest. 
5)Gently scrape into the tin and bake for 1 hr 10-15 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.Cool in the tin on a wire rack. 
6)To make the icing, melt the chocolate and soured cream together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Chill in the fridge until spreadable. Remove cake from tin, roughly swirl icing over and scatter with the banana chips.



All I can say about this recipe is 'heck yes!' It ticks so many boxes. It's chocolatey, banana-ey, moist, sweet, satisfying...delicious. There's no unusual ingredients in the recipe so you can get everything you need at your local supermarket. I managed to get all mine at Aldi apart from the banana chips, which I got from Tesco, but you can get them in health food shops too. It's really easy to make and the timings on the recipe are pretty accurate and it took the time stated to cook the cake without having to adjust the temperature. You don't need any fancy tins, I picked mine up from Poundland and just made sure I lined it with greaseproof paper. 

The balance of chocolate to banana is just about perfect, not too rich or sickly with a hint of the sweet ripe bananas. I have to admit, I wasn't too sure about the sound of mixing chocolate with sour cream for the topping, but I have to admit, it really works. It's like a milk chocolate ganache in the way that it's made, but is not as sweet as the sourness in the cream cuts through a little. You're supposed to chill the topping in the fridge until it's spreadable...but I got impatient and just piled it on top of the cake after it had cooled for about 30 mins. This meant it was a bit runnier than it was supposed to be and it ran down the edges of the cake but after chilling the whole thing in the fridge, it set a little. 



I'm currently writing this post as I'm on one of my fasting days as part of my 5:2 diet. Knowing what I'm having for my dinner tonight and knowing that this cakey goodness is sat in my fridge, giving me the eye, is not helping my stomach rumbles! Roll on tomorrow when I can have tea and cake...

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