I ate banana cake for the very first time in India, 8 years ago. My friend Nathalie and I were travelling through India for a month and we started and ended our travels in Delhi. We stayed in a gorgeous guesthouse where men ruled the kitchen. They made fragrant curries, freshly baked parathas and made wonderful banana bread every day. That’s where I discovered the amazingness that is banana cake and it’s been a love affair ever since. There’s nothing like baking a banana cake when it’s cold and windy outside in London.
Over the years I’ve experimented with various recipes for banana cake but I kept going back to the BBC’s recipe for a brilliant banana loaf. I’ve made that recipe my own. In the past I’ve added chocolate, cinnamon, sweetened with sugar or agave syrup, and sour milk. Sprinkled brown sugar or cinnamon on top, dusted it with icing sugar, you name it, I’ve tried it.
I’ve toasted it and topped with peanut butter, or eaten it on it’s own as dessert or a snack. It’s always been very delicious, but this time I’ve made a banana cake that we simply cannot resist in this house. Initially because I had more bananas I baked a huge cake, meant to go to work with Peet on Monday for his colleagues. However by Saturday evening we knew that this was never going to happen, resistance was futile. Beaten by the banana cake of dreams.
In this recipe I used honey and date syrup and a bit of leftover condensed milk to sweeten the cake, because we didn’t have enough sugar in the house and we were both too lazy to go out. I used up every bit of sugary substitutes we had in the house. However you can use either honey or date syrup only to sweeten of course, just as long as it amounts to 420g of either (or a mix of) honey, date syrup or condensed milk. You can always taste the better to check whether it’s sweet enough.
70g date syrup
100g condensed milk
420gr self raising flour
3tsp baking powder
6 overripe bananas, mashed
pinch of cinnamon
Splash of vanilla essence
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter a 38x30cm tin and line with baking parchment. Mix butter and honey/date syrup/condensed milk until it’s creamy. Add the eggs. Then add the flour, baking powder, bananas, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Pour in the tin and sprinkle a bit more cinnamon powder over the batter if you wish. Bake at 180 degrees for around 30-35 minutes. It’s ready when a skewer comes out clean.
Wait for it to cool off though I can never wait for it to cool off completely ( though maybe you should) because isn’t warm cake the best anyway?