Cake baking isn’t a regular occurrence in the Greenside Up household as we try to save the sweet stuff for special occasions, but that does mean we look forward to the treats when they arise. As I spotted a few bananas getting browner and browner in the fruit bowl recently, I could feel an excuse for a banana cake coming on, which was reinforced by watching the great Irish institution on the TV the other Friday night – The Late Late Show.
I’d never heard of banoffi cake before, but as a big fan of banoffi pie and banana cake, watching Donal Skehan make his banoffi cake on the show had our mouths watering in anticipation…
I’ve adapted Donal’s recipe slightly by making a large cake and covering the whole sponge with a caramel and nut topping rather than the frosting suggested, giving it a naturally sweet flavour from the bananas complimented by the gooey caramel and nuts. It’s the first time I’ve baked a cake using crème fraîche as an ingredient as Donal suggests and I’m very impressed with the results.
2 very ripe bananas
4 tblsp crème fraîche
2 tsp vanilla extract
175 g salt free butter, plus extra for greasing
350 g caster sugar
5 free range (small) organic eggs or 4 large
350 g self-raising flour
For the caramel sauce & nut topping
100 g butter
100 g Demerara sugar
397 g tin of condensed milk
Almonds or nuts of your choice
Method for Banana Cake
Preheat the oven to 160ºC and grease and line a 25 cm (10″) springform cake tin.
Mash the bananas in a bowl and add the crème fraîche and vanilla extract until well combined. Fold in the sieved flour. In a food processor or mixer, whisk the sugar and butter together, then add the eggs one at a time until all the ingredients are well combined. Gently fold the mixed butter, sugar and eggs into the bowl containing the flour and banana.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and place onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for approx 1 hour 10 mins or until the cake is cooked through and springy on top. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes then loosen from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
Caramel Sauce & Nut Topping
While the cake is cooling make the caramel sauce by placing the butter and sugar into a saucepan and melting them over heat, stirring all the time, then add the condensed milk. Bring the mixture to the boil, continuing to stir all the time to prevent it sticking to the saucepan. Allow the sauce to boil for one minute until it thickens then remove from the heat and cool slightly. Do not be tempted to stick your finger into the caramel mixture until it’s cooled – it’s shockingly hot and you will burn both your finger and your tongue 😉
Place the cake onto a serving plate then pour the caramel over the top, allowing it to dribble over the sides. Sprinkle the top with the almonds and serve hot or cold with a dollop of cream if desired.
And the result….
This banana cake was a big hit with the family – I was worried for a while that they might have gone off banana cake as it sat on the side untouched after dinner. However, it seems that it peaked everyone’s fancy as a lazy weekend breakfast treat – by lunchtime there were only a couple of slices left! Our youngest isn’t a huge fan of sultanas which I’ve sometimes added to my old banana cake recipe in the past, but this cake doesn’t need them. It’s a lovely, moist sponge cake that can stand alone with no fuss or frills icing or toppings if that’s how you prefer your cakes.
Do you bake cakes every week or do you save the baking for occasional treats?