To celebrate the return of Great British Bake Off, aka ‘The Best TV Show In The World’ tonight, I thought it was time to share with you the ONLY baking recipe I have ever managed to perfect in my almost 27 years.
I’m not a great cook, and I make no secret of that, but baking is something i’m not too awful at. As long as I have the correct equipment and a spare few hours, I can usually create something pretty good… or at least, edible.
My signature bake is my Banana Cake. 9 times out of 10 it turns out perfectly… it’s just that 10% of the time where I forget to put in something crucial (like the eggs) or I completely forget to set an alarm on the oven and burn it to a crisp.
To really elevate this cake, you have to make some of this healthy (yes, seriously) ice cream to enjoy with it while it’s still warm. This is probably even easier than the cake, and you have to make it first.
For the Ice Cream you will need:
A freezer proof container
A blender (I use my mini Kenwood mixer, or my Nutribullet)
4 frozen bananas (best to chop these up before freezing)
2 tbsp of almond milk
1 tbsp of peanut butter (optional)
1tsp ground cinnamon
All you need to do here is chuck the frozen bananas and almond milk into your blender and whizz up until thick and creamy. Then add in your cinnamon and peanut butter (that just makes it extra creamy and delicious!) and blend it all together. Pour into your freezer proof container and put into the freezer for an hour. If you do this just before you start your cake it should be ready by the time your cake is!
For the Banana Cake you will need:
A loaf tin
An oven (pre-heat to 180ºC / gas mark 4)
2 large/3 small over-ripe bananas
2 medium eggs
1 cup of unsalted butter OR 1 cup of coconut oil – both work well, and the latter is a healthier option!
1½ cups flour (normal is fine)
1 cup caster sugar (or if you’re watching your sugar intake, why not use a sugar substitute? It works. I tried it once)
½ tsp of baking powder
So to start, mash up your bananas. I like to keep it chunky so you can get a good banana mouthful when the cake is finally done. Then add the 2 eggs, the butter/oil (which needs to be soft) and mix it all together. Then you can add in your dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder and sugar) and bring it all together. That’s pretty much it. It is so far away from being difficult it’s no wonder I’m able to make this by myself.
Then just plonk all of that into your loaf tin (which you’ll need to have lightly greased, or lined with greaseproof paper) and spread it out evenly. You can decorate the top with banana slices if you want but from personal experience, I do find these tend to catch in the oven so might be best to keep an eye on them.
Place it into the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.
Now it’s a waiting game. To make it an authentic GBBO experience, sit on a stool right next to the oven and wait.
When the oven dings, check the cake. It almost definitely won’t be done yet, but it’s probably not far off. This is where your knife/stick/chopstick comes into play. Stick it into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clear, bring it out! If not, give it another 10 minutes… repeat until that stick comes out clean! Cooking times always depend on the power of your oven.
Once it’s done, leave to cool a little (but not too much because it’s definitely best when warm!) on a drying rack and check on your ice cream. It should be frozen but still soft and ready for scoopin’. Gather your friends (or not, i’ve been known to eat the entirety of this cake alone before) and cut the cake into nice thick slices. Scoop a big chunk of the ice-cream on-top and watch it melt into the bouncy sponge. You could sprinkle a few crushed walnuts on top if you’re feeling fancy, or even a drizzle of caramel sauce if you have any handy… do whatever you want. This is YOUR masterpiece. What would Paul & Mary think?
This is honestly one of the simplest desserts/tea time snacks you could make, and whats great is you can actually substitute the bananas in the cake for a whole range of different fruits! I’ve made this cake using kiwi before (which was incredible, tart and sweet!) and it even works with mixed berries with a drizzle of white chocolate sauce once the cake is baked and cooled.
Whatever you do, you’re guaranteed to win Star Baker with this super simple signature bake!