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Need to use – Banana

As I mentioned in the first series of this subject, sometimes I find the most simple and delicious creations can be inspired by things that need to be used up.  This cake was inspired by some fast becoming blacker than the ace of spades bananas that were in our fruit bowl.  I was sick of making my standard banana and walnut loaf that I have memorised the recipe for so decided to hunt something out from the copious number of cookbooks that I have collected.  I came up with this and boy, I am so pleased that I did. 

My Brother bought me this book when we were holidaying together once.  My orange polenta biscuit recipe also came from this book so I must say “Thanks Jas”.

yoghurt banana cakes with honey icing (recipe from bake it by Bay Books)
makes 2 cakes, each serving 8

Ingredients
180g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
90g (3 1/4oz) honey    
230g (8oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract
3 eggs
360g (12 3/4oz) mashed ripe banana – about 4 bananas
185g (6 1/2oz) plain yoghurt 
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
375g (13oz) self raising flour

honey icing 
125g (4 1/oz) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey
125g (4 1/oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
1 tablespoon milk 

Preparation
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).  Lightly grease two 15cm (6 inch) round cake tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.

Cream the butter, honey, sugar and vanilla in a bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the banana. 

Combine the yoghurt and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl.  Fold the flour alternatively with the yoghurt mixture into the banana mixture.  Divide the mixture evenly between the tins, smoothing the tops.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

To make the honey icing, cream the butter and honey in a small bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the icing sugar alternately with the milk, beating well until the mixture is very pale.  When the cakes are cold, divide the honey icing between the tops, spreading the icing to form peaks.

These cakes will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.  Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months.

My tips:  *Make sure the cakes are completely cold before icing them.  *You could join these cakes together with the icing for a wonderful alternative as a celebration cake.  *I used two 19cm round tins to make these and they came out about 3 1/2cm high.  *The icing was enough to cover them but a little more could be nice.  *I used a fan forced oven and notice that the tops were browning quickly.  So I turned the fan off and it seemed to help a little.

ease: 8/10.
prep time: 30mins.
cooking time: 50mins.

total: 1hour 20mins.

taste: 8.5/10. The flavour of this cake was beyond my expectation (and I expected a lot).  I thought the banana could have been overpowered by the honey icing but was joyously surprised to find that they worked together in harmony similar to that of a philharmonic orchestra.  The .5 deduction was only because I found the icing a little too rich and sweet.  However, those who know me are fully aware that I don’t like too sweet desserts and reduce the sugar content in most of the recipes I create. 

This cake was a great hit with G and his Mum.      

would I make it again: Without question – This is one of the most delicious ways I found to use up old bananas.  If you have any others please let me know.