A bunch of banana cakes.
My sister makes a mean banana cake. In fact she makes a whole bunch of different mean banana cakes, so it’s not something that I’ve ever monkeyed around with. Banana cake is something that I don’t normally do. I only really have the one recipe and it’s passable at best. So when I was recently lucky enough to happen across a Nordic Ware Banana Loaf tin, I knew it would be a complete vanity purchase. The amount of times I use it will probably never justify the expenditure, but as a collector of cake tins I also knew that I had to have it. Or else my Nordic Ware fixated self would never forgive me.
Not being an expert in banana related bakery, I didn’t know where to start. I knew the bananas had to be good and brown. Blackened almost. If they are too yellow you can roast them in the skins for the same effect. Apart from that, I was going to be on quite the learning curve. The thing about banana cake is that it’s good old-fashioned farmhouse kitchen fare. The main selling point is that it’s quick, reliable and economical. Or should that be cheap as chimps? But because the Nordic Ware Loaf Tin is such a bonny tin, I really wanted to find a recipe that would do it justice. I didn’t want to slip up and make just any old banana cake. I had to find something really ap-peeling.
When I took up baking, one of the first books I bought was the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I’ve bought other Hummingbird books since then, and they are all well worth a look. The recipes work great, they look great and they taste great every time. It was in the leaves of this book that I found the recipe I was looking for. There’s no fanfare. It masquerades under the unassuming title of Banana Loaf. But I figured if I needed a recipe to show off my beautiful new cake tin, this one was the pick of the bunch. The only change I made was to add a teaspoon of ginger puree for a little extra warmth. The cake was delicious. It suited the tin quite well too and although the cake domed a little during baking, it settled down during cooling. Ahh. You don’t need me to tell you. Judge for yourselves from the pictures.
A tin to bake it in.
What more can I say. The Nordic Ware Banana Loaf tin is a beaut. A little bit club tropicana. Except whereas the drinks were free, this cake tin was not. Mine cost me around £40 Sterling including post and packaging. And that was cheap compared to the prices of others I have seen. You see the Nordic Ware Banana Loaf Tin has been discontinued, and although you can still buy them second-hand occasionally, it’s a seller’s market. If you’re lucky enough to find one, it will no doubt cost you a pretty penny too. A very pretty penny. But then again, it’s a very pretty cake tin. You can, if needs must, make this recipe in any loaf tin which comfortably holds 6 cups, that’s one and a half litres in English money. And apologies for the terrible banana puns. But if you really don’t like them you can always make like a banana, and split. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
- 170g Granulated Sugar.
- 120g Soft Dark Brown Sugar.
- 2 Large Eggs.
- 200g Mashed Banana.
- 1 tsp Ginger Puree.
- 280g Plain Flour.
- 1 tsp Baking Powder.
- 1 tsp Bicarb.
- 1 Cinnamon.
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger.
- 140g Margarine (melted and cooled slightly).
- Up to 50g Icing Sugar.
- Position a shelf in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 6 cup loaf tin ( I used the Nordic Ware Banana Loaf Tin).
- Using the paddle attachment, beat together the granulated and brown sugars with the eggs until thick and mousse like.
- Add the mashed banana and ginger puree and beat to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and ginger and beat together on a low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- With the motor still running on a low speed, slowly pour in the margarine until just combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. No more than two minutes.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface, leaving a dip in the centre to help the cake rise evenly.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger.
- Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar just before serving.