I LOVE chocolate cake. I really do. And not the kind with the fudge, and the cream, and mousse or whatever else, but simple, old fashioned and delicious chocolate cake. Made with heart, cocoa, vanilla, good quality flour and a hearty appetite. This is kind of cake recipe I found with Nigella Lawson’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, which I adore.
This cake here, with the banana slices, I created to make a virtue out of a necessity. I had 2 stray bananas left in the fruit basket, and I could not let them rot. So I decided to put this cake together. Something unexpected happened when I put the cake in the oven – the bananas caramelised so lusciously, I couldn’t even notice the reduced sugar content of the cake.
This cake is great with tea, on Sunday evenings when all you need is the hot summer wind, cold tea and cake. Oh, and a good book.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease and line with baking parchment a 20cmx20cm baking pan. In a large bowl, sieve together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar to form a light, fluffy mixture using an electric mixer. In the meantime, crack eggs into a bowl, add vanilla and lightly beat it, so that the yolks are broken. Peel the bananas and slice them lengthwise. Set aside. Then, add the egg and vanilla mixture in two batches to the butter sugar mixture in medium speed, beating well after each addition. When well combined, remove the batter from the electric mixer, we’re going to fold in the flour.
Add the flour in 2 batches, alternating with half the amount of milk during each addition. Fold in the flour gently, so that you do not knock out the air that the electric mixer worked hard to incorporate into the mixture. Each addition should be well combined in about 20 to 30 seconds.
This will be a fairly thick batter, which you’ll have to spread around evenly on your baking pan. Then, place the banana slices on top of the cake, cut side up. Slightly push the banana slices into the batter, so that they don’t protrude out. Then, place pan onto the middle rack of the preheated oven, baking for 50mins. You may want to cover the top of the cake with an aluminium foil if you feel its burning - this is hard to say as it differs from oven to oven. At 40 mins, use a wooden skewer to ensure that cake is cooked through.
Remove from oven when fully baked, slice into squares and serve with tea.