I actually did a bit of cooking on the weekend - pancakes for breakfast, roast beef on Saturday night, and the top tier of the wedding cake. The whole house smelled gorgeous for about 24 hours and I'm pretty happy with the result. Now for about 8 weeks of drizzling it with brandy and I'll be ready to try my hand at old fashioned white icing for the first time in my life. If I think about it too much, I'll realise how insane that sounds and get discouraged. So I'll move on quickly...
Yesterday I made two banana cakes. In this heat, everything ripens so quickly and I hate wasting food so the bananas had to go. Banana cakes are not nearly as glamorous as old fashioned rich fruit cake destined for the all-important top tier, but they're really nice in the lunchbox and I was grateful for the sugar hit today at about 3pm. It's so moist that butter was not necessary.
This recipe makes two cakes. I had a loaf pan and a standard sized round tin on hand so that's what I used. Both work, but the loaf is probably more traditional and manageable. If you don't like or have spelt, just use regular plain flour. Or use self-raising flour, and leave out the baking powder.
4 medium sized, ripe bananas
4 cups spelt flour
250g butter, softened but not melted
2 1/2 firmly packed cups brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp baking powder
I usually make cakes the old fashioned way that my mother taught me. That is, cream the butter and sugar first. Then in go the eggs, one by one. Followed by the baking powder, cinnamon & vanilla and half the flour. Add half the milk and once it's all mixing together well, thrown in the rest of the flour and milk. Add a little more milk if you feel the mix is too stiff. It should have some body to it, but not too much. Oh, and I use an electric mixer, but once all the ingredients are in, you don't need to beat it to death. Just combine everything really well and get some air in there.
Bake for about 45 mins to one hour at 180ºC (or 160ºC fan forced). Depending on your oven and whether you cook both at once you might need a little more or less time. Keep an eye on it and when you think it's cooked, test with a skewer - if it comes out clean, you're done.