Black Banana Cake
When we were kids, there was a collection of Sesame Street Big Books filled with wonderful stories that still hold a place in our hearts now. But there was one story that always got us salivating – Big Bird making his special Banana Cake. I vividly remember the illustrations of Big Bird whipping up that beautiful yellow batter. Against his equally yellow feathers, I could only imagine what a banana cake tastes like.
Making this banana cake was a hark back to our childhood that was always filled with sunshine and fun times. It was like flipping back those pages and reading about how Cookie Monster was trying to bake the largest cookie he could eat. Now that’s another story to inspire us in the future.
Black Banana Cake
Adapted from Nigel Slater
175g unsalted butter, softened
50g light muscovado sugar
50g golden caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
2 very ripe Cavendish bananas
1 drop vanilla paste
a little demerara sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 12cm loaf tin with baking parchment.
Cream butter until smooth and creamy. Then gradually add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.
Toast the hazelnuts, rub them in a tea towel to remove their skins, then grind quite finely.
Slowly mix in the beaten eggs, tablespoon by tablespoon to prevent curdling. Then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
Peel the bananas and chop them the small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla paste and the bananas into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to over-mix.
Scoop the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar, if you like. Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly.
To accelerate the ripening process of the bananas, place them in a paper bag with an apple. Ethylene gas is produced as the fruits ripen, and by encasing them in a bag, it will only fasten the process.