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Blimey – some people bought their bunch of bananas from Waitrose and it came with an addition of the world’s most venomous Brazilian spider. Sitting on a sack full of baby killer spider eggs. The family were so traumatised they moved out of the house, while special squads hunted for the monster, and I don’t blame them one bit.
Well it’s a good job I’ve baked my banana cake now because it will be the last for a long time - sure as hell I won’t be going near any bananas (or Waitrose) in the foreseeable future. My conkers are working very well thank you this autumn (see here if you want a good arachnophobe’s tip) but I don’t think they could stand up to the Brazilian wanderer.
Cake is delishh though, no spiders involved in the making. Not sure why some call it banana ‘bread’ – it’s cake all right, sweet and raisiny, and just to make double certain no one will cut a slice of it for a ham and cheese sarnie, I’ve glazed it with sticky honey and cream topping.
There are tonnes of recipes for banana cake, with chopped chocolate, cranberries or nuts, orange or lemon zest, rum or other booze so clearly anything goes.
This is very easy, very tasty and not terribly rich, I find. Still whichever recipe you go for, overripe bananas are best so not the I’ll-pop-out-to-the-supermarket-get-bananas-make-cake type thing as supermarkets famously believe bananas are those green hard things in skins. You need to have them hanging around the house for good few days before the cake exercise – and make sure no spiders attached.
banana cakeServings: one loaf cakeTime: 10 minutes plus an hour and a half baking
- 110g vegetable or rapeseed oil
- 110g soft brown sugar
- 110g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- a few drops of orange flavouring
- 2 eggs
- 3 large overripe bananas
- 260g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100g raisins (or raisins mixed with chopped walnuts)
- icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Butter a loaf tin or line it with parchment.
2. Mix the sugars with the oil, the cinnamon and the flavouring. Add the eggs and beat with a mixer for about two minutes.
3. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl (potato ricer works a treat). Sieve the flour with the baking powder and add half the amount to the mix, beating in well. Add the mashed bananas, the rest of the flour and beat for a couple of minutes. Stir in the raisins/nuts.
4. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for about 90 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
5. Cool in the tin for about half an hour before turning it out. Dust generously with icing sugar