Today is Daisy’s half birthday. Seven and a half exactly. Somehow she’s worked it so that we celebrate it every year! The only person in the family to get this special treatment. Last year she even told her teacher who mis-heard & thought it was her actual birthday, so she spent the day wearing the class birthday hat & was sung to in assembly. Really the half-birthday rule is that you get a nice cake for tea & that’s about it. Quite a nice thing for a cold January day.
This year Ollie & I decided to make a banana cake on account of the bunch of bananas going over-ripe in the fruit bowl. We used this recipe of Jamie Oliver’s which uses no sugar, but a bit of honey. As we’d run out of honey I gave Agave a go. It’s a light syrup from the agave plant which apparently is healthier than sugar because it’s low GI. It tasted fine so I’ll use it again.
250 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
3 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons fresh apple juice
125 g unsalted butter
2 large free-range eggs
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons runny honey
50 g pecans (I used walnuts)
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 1-litre loaf tin with olive oil.
3. Dust the sides of the tin lightly with flour, then tap to get rid of any excess.
4. Peel and add the bananas to a mixing bowl.
5. Using a fork, mash the bananas so you’ve got a mixture of smooth and chunky, then put aside.
6. Add the apple juice and stir to combine.
7. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until creamy.
8. Crack in the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next.
9. Fold in the flour, cinnamon, honey and banana mixture, taking care not to over mix.
10. Roughly chop the pecans on a chopping board, if using, then fold through the mixture.
11. Spoon into the loaf tin, then bake in the hot oven for around 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked.
My experience: the cake went brown on the outside some time before it was cooked on the inside even though I’d put it in at 10degrees lower, so it came out looking pretty dark. I’m reluctant to say burnt because it didn’t taste burnt & went down pretty well with everyone.
Shortly after eating it the children came down dressed like this. A funny end to a nice evening with friends (Kerry, Lucas & Isla), but definitely time for bed…..