Friday, 21 January 2011

Banana and Pecan cake...

This is the most gorgeous, moist and delicious banana cake I've ever made.  The recipe is slightly adapted from an old recipe for banana and raisin loaf that I discovered in a magazine about 8 years ago.  Pecans and golden syrup are an unbeatable combination and when  you add them to bananas you get something even more special.

This recipe is a perfect addition to those cakes I reserve for the delights of 'afternoon tea'.  It is so simple to make and will easily hold its flavour for up to a week, if you can refrain from demolishing it all by then!!

225g self-raising flour
125g butter, softened and cubed
175g golden caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
few drops of vanilla extract
500g of over-ripened bananas (the blacker the better!)
2 tbsp golden syrup
80g pecans, roughly chopped (save 8-10 whole ones for the top)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.  Line the base of a 23" clip baking tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.  Grease the sides of the tin with a little butter.

Put the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl.  Using your fingertips work the two ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs.  Be delicate with the ingredients so as not to overwork them.  Add the sugar and stir together.

Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly for a minute or so.  Add the vanilla essence and beat again.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix together.

Remove the bananas from their skins and mush together in a small bowl or blender.  Add the bananas to the rest of the mixture and beat into a sloppy, wonderfully fragrant mixture.

Add the golden syrup, mix well and finally add the chopped pecans.

Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin.  Place the reserved whole pecans onto the top of the cake for a little decoration.  I like to use one whole pecan to denote one slice of the cake (see the picture below).  Sprinkle a little golden caster sugar over the cake then sit it on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hr.  

Check the mixture is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake.  If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is ready.  Leave to cool completely in the tin.  Once cooled, serve with tea of course!

> mmmm delicious!

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