There’s never a dull day when there’s a banana loaf on the kitchen table fresh from the oven. It’s an even better day when that banana loaf is turned into a banana hazelnut chocolate chip loaf.
Bananas in a cake is always a good idea. I tend to buy mine incredibly green when I do my shopping, forget about them for a week or two and then when they’re just about to turn from ripe to really bad it’s time to get baking.
During the week I plan my food out – it’s a strict gym diet of chicken, rice and vegetables. On the weekend though the diet goes out the window. At least with a banana cake you feel slightly healthy, and the hazelnuts and chocolate give it a little boost in protein.
The annoying thing right now when I bake is that I’m still not used to my new oven. Figuring out the temperatures varies from oven to oven so it’ll take some practice to get my favourite recipes spot on. When baking a cake it’s really important to keep the oven door shut at all times. If you keep opening the oven to check on the cake, the temperature fluctuates and the cake will sink.
When this cake came out of the oven it had a lovely rise on it. However, when I took it out the first time it wasn’t cooked all the way through – this new oven likes to take it’s sweet time cooking things. The colouring was perfect though so trusty tin foil came to the rescue to make sure the colour didn’t get any darker. The cake should have been cooked in 40 minutes, but it took an extra 20 minutes or so to finish it off. When it was cooked through the cake did eventually sink a bit, all because of the opening of the oven. It really does make all the difference!
Despite the slight dip in the top it still tasted beautiful. The bananas were just at the right point to be used in a cake so their flavour really comes through. The hazelnuts adds a nice crunch and the chocolate complements the sweetness of the bananas.
This really is a simple bake to do. So whether you’re just learning to bake or you’re a seasoned pro, you can never go wrong with having a banana loaf in your repertoire.
Whether your cake sinks after baking or stays risen it’s all about the final taste. In the words of Mary Berry, this loaf might look informal but it sure does taste good. At the weekend when my gym diet is thrown out the window, all I want is a nice bit of homemade cake. Not only does it make the house smell good, but it makes the chicken and rice diet all the more worthwhile to indulge on a couple of slices of fresh cake.
100g Unsalted butter
175g Golden caster sugar
225g Self raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
3 Ripe bananas
2 Large eggs
30g Chopped hazelnuts
100g Chocolate drops
1tsp Vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 200c and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
2. Cream together your butter and sugar.
3. Beat in your eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract.
4. Sift half in the flour, fold into the mixture and then fold in the last of the flour with the baking powder.
5. In a separate bowl mash your bananas together with a fork – try and get it as smooth as possible, the less lumps the better.
6. Add your bananas, chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips to the mixture and stir until it’s all incorporated.
7. Pour the mixture into your lined loaf tin and bake for around 40 minutes. Depending on your oven it could take up to an hour. Just make sure you leave it in for 40 minutes before opening the door. It’ll be cooked when a skewer or knife comes out clean. If you’re worried about the colouring of the cake cover with tin foil.
8. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool down.