like a lot of people it seems, i have quickly turned my hand to a spot of baking during these uncertain times. baking is a simple pleasure that i have rarely allowed myself the time to do. it requires a certain number of hours spent at home, not only to weigh out and mix all the ingredients together, but also to patiently wait for the cake to bake in the oven before allowing it to cool and even decorate. lets be honest, it can be a bit of a faff!
but now we're all stuck at home for weeks on end with only ourselves to entertain. this has invited me to get creative in the kitchen and, having a bit of sweet tooth, encouraged me to get the caster sugar out from the back of the cupboard and put the oven gloves on.
as requested, i've written down my lock down easter recipe for anyone that's brave enough to give it a go! i've essentially taken a nigella lawson recipe and put my own easter twist on it. we're thinking simnel cake for the banana obsessed.
- 7oz / 200g marzipan, chopped into small pieces and left in freezer over night
- 6oz / 175g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4.5oz / 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 5oz / 150g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 small very ripe bananas, 3 mashed and 1 cut in half lengthways
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- handful of flaked almonds for decorating
preheat the oven to 170*C / gas mark 3. grease and line a loaf tin (roughly 23 x 13 x 7cm) in a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. then with a wooden spoon, stir in the marzipan and vanilla extract.
weigh out the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. then add this dry mix, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. scrape into the loaf tin and sprinkle flaked almonds across the top. place the remaining banana slices on top, facing upwards, pushing them into the mixture slightly.
bake in the middle of the oven for about an hour or until a skewer is inserted and comes out cleanish. leave in the tin to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
I find that it's best to allow it to cool completely before slicing, as it can be pretty gooey inside.