Soft As A Cloud- Banana Cake

 

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Soft as a cloud 

Now that I’m working from home, I find myself wandering around the kitchen, looking to stuff my face, more frequently than usual…a bit like Yogi Bear, minus the pic-a-nic basket- but with the bearlike appetite.

 Prudently, I’ve taken to yoga & replacing all snacks to fruits! While this military behaviour works well for the 1st couple of days, the charm begins to wear off & given the general lack of interest in eating healthy, my kitchen is soon laden with slightly overripe fruit. Not a great situation, no.

So, after a good amount of research, I’ve come across a few great bakes that require ripened banana. And it’s a complete win, this situation, as A- The banana is the quickest & easiest form of energy intake & B- My kitchen is no longer a ripe old forest of mushy bananas! Yay!

 Now, banana cakes always make me happy- the aroma, moistness & the fact that they are simply the easiest to bake! All this month, I’ve been experimenting with this new recipe & every time I bake it; the cake just seems too be getting lighter, fluffier & tastier! It’s almost like a friend that never, EVER, lets you down (God, I have to get out of the house more often)!

The steps to this recipe are ridiculously simple & it would be a crime to keep it to myself. What I like most about this bake is that every ingredient is so easily available at home.

 You need..

2-3 large over ripe & speckled bananas

½ Cup castor sugar

1/3 Cup canola oil

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 ¼ Cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp soda bicarbonate

1 tsp cardamom powder

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

A handful chopped walnuts, dried figs & I also added dried rosemary. for a healthier option, use a handful of mixed seeds- such as flax, sunflower & pumpkin.

All you do is:

  • Pre heat the oven to 180 C.

  • Line an 8×8 inch baking tin with baking paper. Tricky but fun, once you get the hang of it.

  • Sift flour, baking powder, soda bicarb & cardamom – add the nutmeg & keep aside.

  • Using a food processor (the easiest way) whiz together the bananas, oil, vanilla & eggs till completely mixed; about 3 spins.

  • Evenly spoon over the flour mix onto the wet mix, in the processor & whiz only about twice- do not dump in the flour as it tends to make the batter lumpy. Do not over mix as this would lead to a tough & heavy cake.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin, scatter the nuts or seeds & bake for about 25 minutes.

  • The cake when done should be a lovely golden brown & pass the skewer test- or should come out dry when skewer inserted.

  • Take the cake out of the oven & let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes before you cool it on a wire rack.

  • I love to cut up this pillowy soft cake into chunky squares & pile ‘em high to serve. You could also dust the slices with icing sugar or wrap the slices in baking paper & twine.

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Wrap slices in baking paper with twine.

 

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Pile ’em high!

See how easy & healthy this cake is?

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Golden banana cake with walnut, fig & rosemary

This is when I say “Enjoy”..

Nutty Banana Bread with Walnuts & Pumpkin Seeds

I have two states of mind. I’m usually wracked with guilt for not going to the gym enough or obsessing all day about what deliciousness to bake next. This weekend, as most weekends, baking won! So I decided to compromise a bit and bake a healthy, fruity loaf instead of my usual decadent cupcakes etc.

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Found this super easy Banana Bread online, and as most ingredients were at hand, got going instantly. Amazingly, the prep time for this recipe is less than 15 mins!  

So if you have the time and a hankering for a slice of warm, delicious & guilt free banana bread, this one you got to try-it’s just brilliant.

Rustle up..

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup canola or vegetable

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

2 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon flax seeds

Then…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place the rack in the center of the oven. 

Grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf tin with a bit of oil or butter.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yogurt. Allow it to rest while you prepare the rest of the batter.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla. You’ll get a gluey mix-don’t panic.

In another large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon, almost all the walnuts (reserve a few to scatter on the top of loaf) and salt.

Then combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until all the ingredients are moistened. Pour this thick & doughy mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top with the back of a spatula. Sprinkle on the remaining walnuts, pumpkin & flax seeds. I also like giving these toppings a little press to coax ‘em into the dough a bit.

Bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. The crust should be a nice delicious golden.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I also made myself a hot cup of tea- best friends with warm cake, I tell you.

Perfect weekend 🙂