4 November 2012

Banana Hazelnut Loaf Cake


Mmm! Cornish sea salt how I love thee! When we were staying in Cadgwith Cove in Cornwall this summer we picked up a pot of salt and pepper from The Cornish Sea Salt Company, and had to keep on buying from them. They also supply a smoked salt which I used for my scrambled eggs for lunch:
 Yum!. Smoked salt and a good bit 'o pepper in scrambled eggs with a toasted bagel. It made such a difference to my lunch; pure heaven.

Anyway, after that, I decided to use up a couple of bananas so ripe that only my Father would eat them. I based the recipe on the Hummingbird Bakery's with a couple of tweaks to the flavour.

Ingredients
  • 250g soft light brown sugar* -or 270g if you're not using the syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g bananas (about 2-3 medium), peeled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut syrup
  • 285g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 140g butter, melted
*if you don't have brown sugar, add a teaspoon of black treacle as you weigh out the sugar. Black treacle is the product of refining sugar into the white form, so you're just adding back that lovely butterscotch-y flavour.

Preheat the oven to 170 C, gas 3. Grease and line a loaf or cake tin.

Put the sugar and eggs into a bowl and beat until well mixed. Then beat in the mashed bananas, followed by the syrup if using.
 Add the flour, baking powder, bicarb and spices into the mixture (slowly!). Mix well, making sure that there are no 'pockets' of the flour mixture. Pour over the melted butter, and give the mixture another good whisk.
 Pour the mixture into a tin -ideally a loaf tin, but ours is in a box somewhere, so I used a large, loose-bottomed cake tin.
 The recipe recommends a baking time of one hour, but as my tin was quite deep, I turned down the temperature slightly, and baked for a good half hour longer. It's easy enough to tell if the cake is ready, as you just need to insert a skewer and check that it comes out clean. This is a rich cake, so it may look as if it is a little damp, but don't worry. If the top is starting to get crispy, cover in foil.
 When the cake is ready, leave for ten minutes or so before removing from the tin (but do feel free to just stand by the counter, breathing in that delicious smell!). This cake also goes really well with a little evaporated milk drizzled over.

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