Monday, July 6, 2009

Banana cake

There are very few food items that I dislike or don't eat but bananas are one of them. I've never liked them - can't stand the smell, especially when they're getting very ripe, nor the taste.

When I was a child, mum often used to make banana splits in special dishes, the banana covered by perfect scoops of vanilla ice-cream and a river of chocolate topping . I ate these under sufferance, gobbling the banana as fast as I could so that I could get to the ice-cream. But, alas, the banana flavour had already permeated into the ice-cream, so it really wasn't that enjoyable.

Mum also used to make a banana cake, which, as banana cakes go, was actually very nice. It had raisins sprinkled throughout the cake and it was iced with lemon-flavoured icing and dusted with cinnamon. Again, it was something I ate under sufferance, purely because I wanted cake and that was the only option.

While I tolerated bananas growing up, now I avoid them where possible, which is quite hard, given that my husband and children adore them. Adam has lately had a craving for banana cake and has been requesting a recipe from anyone who cooks. I persuaded Mum to pass on her recipe and she generously even cooked it for us recently while she was visiting. If you enjoy banana cake, this is a good cake, nice and moist, with the raisins adding interest, and the icing rounding it all off. If you don't like bananas, do what I do and make chocolate cake instead!

My mum's banana cake

125g butter
2 eggs
1 cup raisins, chopped
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1/2 level teaspoon bicarb soda
3/4 cup sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, then eggs. Warm milk and stir in bicarb soda (it should fizz). Add mashed banana and flour at same time with raisins and milk. Cook at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes in a greased and baking paper-lined ring tin.

Ice with icing made with 1 teaspoon of melted butter and 1 cup of icing sugar. Add a small amount of boiling water and lemon essence and mix to a smooth paste. Ice cake, allowing some to dribble down the sides, then sprinkle with ground cinnamon.


Jackie said...

Hi Melinda

I read this with interest as I have the opposite position - I love bananas but loathe banana cake.

My mum (bless her) has never been a good cook, and takes the whole 'you only use over-ripened bananas in cake' to almost compostable extremes. I can smell banana cake from miles away and it's about all I can do not to gag!

Love 'em fresh, though :)

Melinda said...

Hi Jackie - your mum is right - banana cakes are a great way to use up over-ripe bananas. But they are just so pungent by that stage! No wonder you don't like banana cake! Glad you enjoy fresh bananas though.