I have been letting those bananas get over-ripe again…….. We seem to go through phases of eating loads of them and then suddenly find we don’t…… but I still keep buying them…….. I never learn……
Still….. not one to let much go to waste, I always either freeze them to use at a later date, or bake with them.
My favourite recipes for using them up are chocolate-banana-coconut brownies, Coco-Banana Freeze Bites, and chocolate-banana-coconut macaroon cookies. It used to be banana bread…… I seemed to be forever making the stuff, but I haven’t had any in ages!
Recently though, I have had a bit of a hankering for delicious, moist, bananary sponge……. but with a bit of a twist. Banoffee! It is one of those all time favourite combinations……. toffee…. banana….. what’s not to love? I have tried the banoffee combination as cupcakes (soft banana sponges, filled with sumptuous banana-caramel and topped with Mascarpone cream)…….. boy, were they good! And more recently as a banoffee-coconut crunch trifle……. just divine!
This recipe for Banoffee Cake is far less decadent and perfectly down to earth……. but believe me, it is no come down. Based around a banana bread sponge, it is full of fruity banana, but also rich and caramelly with the addition of real dairy toffee which melts and mingles through the cake as it bakes.
Using ground almonds, golden syrup and buttermilk as well as the fruit, this sponge is fantastically moist and quite dense……. an ideal accompaniment to cold winter evenings with a mug of cocoa or just a plain old cup of tea…… It needs no dressing up or fancy icings……. the combination of flavours and sense of substance speak for themselves.
Don’t misunderstand me……… By ‘substance’ and ‘dense’ I don’t in any way mean ‘heavy’. This is a bake that is comfortingly filling, but soft and melty enough to sink into and savour gently as the banoffee magic washes over your taste buds.
Bake them as individual mini loaves for a personal treat, or make as a tray bake to cut and share at work, with the neighbours or to freeze ready to pop in the lunchbox. I have even had a few sneaky slices for breakfast…… A bit naughty, but with the bananas and almonds, I can kid myself they are a reasonable alternative to cereal or toast!
1 extra banana to decorate
- Base-line a 9 inch/23 cm square baking tin with baking paper (or use individual mini-loaf tins or cupcake cases).
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy.
- Add the golden syrup and continue to beat until thoroughly combined.
- Add and beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Fold in the mashed bananas.
- Fold in the buttermilk.
- Fold in the flour and chopped dairy toffee, until just combined (being careful not to over mix).
- Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
- Slice the extra banana and use to decorate the top of the batter.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Cut into squares and serve.