Go Ape or Go Nuts?!
Olive Oil Banana Cake
What do you do when you have a glut of bananas that are going to the dark side? Well rather a lot actually. For us it is usually to peel and freeze, then blitz with cinnamon, honey and a little peanut butter and voila, instant ice cream. Or throw in the blender for a smoothie or milkshake. Or, and now we get to the really good part, bake a banana cake!
Now most of us are familiar with the standard banana loaf. It's quick and easy and all you need to think about is "should I put walnuts in or not"? However, we wanted something a little different and have turned to Allison Day's Olive Oil Banana Cake from her Yummy Beet blog. The wonderful thing about this cake is it's all store cupboard ingredients (disclaimer: it's certainly our store cupboard!). It's also happens to be a vegan recipe, though a word of warning, our topping isn't.
Allison's recipe is for two cakes, but we halved the mix to make one. So, a few minutes of prep will see you whip up this cake in no time at all. Start with the 'wet' ingredients. This includes the sugar, but goes into the mix as you would with a butter and sugar creaming method. Our bananas were frozen so we defrosted them to start (they will leak a little so drain off some of the liquid first).
Mix until you have a loose slurry of yumminess, before folding in your dry ingredients and, once fully combined, pour into a greased and lined 9inch (23cm) tin. The mix should be fairly loose and will self level. Bake at 325F for 55 to 65 minutes (Top Tip: Know your oven. We baked at 145C for 55 and got a perfect result).
Cool for 20 mins in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack. Now, once cool you could stop there, however we decided to embellish as little as ours was headed to a birthday gathering. The plan was to top with the caramel used on our 'Love Bar' Cheesecake, but it didn't go to plan. The caramel split and despite the best efforts of our culinary E.R. team, we just couldn't save it. So on to plan B, vanilla buttercream. Simply beat double the amount of icing sugar to butter until light and fluffy.
Finally, topping prepared, we filled and topped our moist but light sponge with buttercream, before 'strewing' (that's Nigella's word for it) with chopped almonds, pistachios and dark chocolate chips.
So go ape or go nuts. You'll enjoy yourself, we promise.