Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Chocolate Frosted Banana Loaf Cake

Chocolate Frosted Banana Bread - The Inky Kitchen

Waste is one of my pet peeves. If I roast a chicken I will make it last at least two meals and I will usually use the carcass to make stock. It's not being cheap, it is being sensible and sensitive of the fact that there are millions of people all over the world that have no food at all. I know my not throwing away chicken bones isn't helping them but it helps me remember to be grateful for what I have.

Bananas are a thing that goes to waste a lot, we buy them in big bunches and then when their yellow skin is splodged with brown and they are too ripe to eat as is we just throw them away. No no no! There are lots of delicious things you can make with over ripe bananas - milkshakes, smoothies, bannoffee desserts, slice them and cover them in lovely warm creamy custard... the list goes on. But as I am so often inclined, I take the cake road.

Chocolate Frosted Banana Bread - The Inky Kitchen

Banana bread is a teatime staple but is very often overlooked as an old fashioned recipe. This version is beautifully moist and fills your whole house with the sweet, spicy smell of baking. It is not a traditional banana bread, more a banana loaf cake and the slather of dreamy chocolate frosting offsets the light spicing wonderfully.

If you can manage to, wrap the cooled loaf in cling film and then frost the next day. The beautiful dampness seems to intensify if you leave it overnight.

Chocolate Frosted Banana Bread - The Inky Kitchen

Chocolate Frosted Banana Loaf Cake
Serves 8-10
Adapted from a recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf

Cake Ingredients
200g ripe bananas, mashed (this is about 2 large bananas)
140g slightly salted butter, melted
280g plain flour
230g light brown sugar
40g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Frosting Ingredients
60g slightly salted butter at room temperature
100g milk chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
300g icing sugar, sieved

Cake Method
Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F.

Beat the sugar, vanilla and eggs until well mixed and then add the mashed banana and stir again.

Next add the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg - and mix thoroughly until no lumps remain.

Slowly pour in the melted butter while mixing and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased 23 x 13 cm loaf tin and smooth over the top with a spatula or palette knife.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for an hour or until a knife slid into the centre of the cake comes out clean with no raw batter on it. Leave to cool in the tin for around fifteen minutes before removing and placing it on a cake platter. If you can, leave covered in cling film overnight before frosting.

Frosting Method
Beat the butter, milk and vanilla extract with the cocoa powder until smooth, then add the slightly cooled melted chocolate.

Mix until well blended and then add the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time until a spreadable consistency is achieved. You may not need to use the whole 300 grams.

Spread rustically over the cooled banana loaf cake and then, if you wish, decorate with little icing flowers and a little edible glitter.

Chocolate Frosted Banana Bread - The Inky Kitchen

Cheeky Extra Recipe
Take two medium or three small ripe bananas, roughly chop and put into a blender. Add one large scoop of vanilla ice cream, a small cup of milk and a heaped tablespoon of honey. Blend until smooth and you have a delicious and (fairly) healthy milkshake!

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