It’s essential to use very ripe bananas for this loaf cake to get the depth of flavour – the browner and spottier the skins the better. I started making it just to use the leftovers at the end of the week so that they wouldn’t go to waste. Then, I found out that everyone was deliberately not eating the bananas so that I would have to make it. Crafty little monkeys! The bananas and the sultanas in it give it a really moist texture – you don’t have to soak the sultanas in Kahlua like I do but it really is the secret to the special flavour of the cake. The alcohol burns off with cooking so you can serve it to children and they LOVE it. I keep a bottle of Kahlua in just to make this cake.
You will need…
- 3 large, very ripe and brown spotty bananas – don’t attempt to make this with green bananas as the flavour just isn’t the same
- 2 large eggs
- 1 generous tablespoon of ground almonds
- 175g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla essence
- 125g soft unsalted butter
- 150g golden caster sugar plus an extra dessertspoon full for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 100g sultanas
- 3 tablespoons of Kahlua (a coffee flavoured rum liquor from Mexico – available in all good supermarkets)
- A handful of chopped pistachios to garnish
- Place the sultanas and Kahlua in a small saucepan and heat gently for about 5 minutes until the alcohol burns off and the sultanas absorb all the liquid. Leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Butter and line the base of a standard 23 x 13cm loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt together.
- Add a tablespoon of the flour to the butter and sugar mix.
- Gradually stir in the beaten egg and then the mashed banana.
- Fold in the flour in batches and blend thoroughly.
- Now, fold in the ground almonds, vanilla essence and the Kahlua soaked sultanas.
- Pour evenly into the loaf tin and top with chopped pistachio nuts and a sprinkling of caster sugar.
- Bake in the oven for an hour to an hour and a quarter or until a skewer comes out clean (I use a piece of dried spaghetti).
- Place it on a rack to cool before turning it out. Peel off the baking parchment from the base.
- It can be served by itself for a teatime treat or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a dessert.
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