Saturday, 19 May 2012

Caramelised Banana, Coconut, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake

Undercover in the undergrowth
Did you know it is World Baking Day on Sunday 20th May? Sponsored by Stork, the idea is to have some fun baking a cake and then sharing it with others - whether that's in actuality or sharing a picture. Ideally, photograph your cake "somewhere interesting" in an unusual place or setting, then share the photographs via Twitter using the hashtag #caking or go direct to the World Baking Day website. Stuck for ideas? You will find plenty on my blog or again you could take a look at the World Baking Day site.

I was lucky to be given some encouragement by the organisers in the form of an an amazing box of goodies to use in the making of my cake. This not only included flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa, Stork margarine and various cake decorations, but also a splendid silicone spatula which has a built in rest to keep the blade off the work surface and a very handy recipe journal.

So what to make was the big question? Well it didn't take me too long to figure out. Last week I couldn't resist buying up a load of bananas I saw going cheap. Then, serendipitously, the very same day I saw the most amazing banana, chocolate, peanut butter layer cake on Buttaz Blog. Although I wasn't quite ready to make anything as grand as that, it did form the inspiration for the flavours I wanted to use. I was going to make a banana cake with chocolate chips sandwiched together with peanut butter icing. At Christmas last year I'd made Dan Lepard's Butterscotch Banana Cake, in muffin format for the guys next door, using that most excellent of books Short & Sweet. Well caramelising the bananas was a revelation and transforms a simple banana cake into something else entirely. Inspired by this, I upped the quantities, omitted the spices and nuts, added coconut and then some chocolate, of course. The icing I based loosely on a recipe by Eric Lanlard in Cox Cookies & Cake.

This is what I did it:
  • Poured 150g caster sugar and 50ml of water into a heavy bottomed pan and placed on a low heat until the sugar was melted.
  • Brought the mixture to a boil, until it turned into a light brown caramel.
  • Added 4 chopped bananas and turned down the heat to a simmer.
  • Added 40g unsalted butter and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until the bananas were mushy.
  • Added 50g desiccated coconut & 2 tsp vanilla extract. Stirred and left to cool.
  • Creamed 175g Stork margarine (I'd normally use butter, but as this was sent to me, I thought I'd try it out).
  • Added 120g light brown sugar and creamed until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in a goose egg (4 medium hens eggs).
  • Beat in the banana mixture.
  • Stirred in 1 tbsp yogurt.
  • Sieved in 200g self-raising flour, 60g rye flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp bicarb of soda and folded until just combined.
  • Gently stirred in 50g of chopped dark 70% chocolate (G&B).
  • Divided mixture between two 22 cm cake moulds and baked at 180C for 30 minutes.
  • Left to cool for 15 minutes then turned out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • Creamed 50g unsalted butter.
  • Added 150g smooth peanut butter & creamed some more.
  • Sifted in 200g icing sugar and creamed until pale.
  • Added 4 tbsp whipping cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract & beat until light and smooth.
  • Sandwiched the two cakes together with half of the mixture and spread the other half on top.
  • Decorated with various chocolate sprinkles.
Doorstep Delivery
I can only describe the result as being the Rolls Royce of Banana cakes. It had a good crumb structure and was really light - so light in fact, as CT stated, that you could have a really big slice and not feel full. The taste was fairly sublime too and neither of us are ordinarily big fans of banana cake. The peanut butter icing I could have happily polished off with a spoon before ever it got to the cake, but I held fast. The flavours balanced out really well with the sweet, salt and bitter each playing their part. The individual flavours of banana, peanut, coconut and chocolate could be tasted separately, but also formed a sublime whole. As Alexander Dumas would have put it: "All for one and one for all".

So get your pinnies on ready for Sunday and join in the fun.

30 comments:

  1. That cake looks amazing. I think the banana and peanut butter would be a real hit in terms of flavour combinations. I have never caramelised bananas before adding to a cake either, but what a fan idea.

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  2. This does sound yummy!!! I want to try it asap - have to buy some bananas and let them ripen first :)

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  3. What an amazing combinations, there are my favourite flavour boxes being ticked all over the place. It's a good job you're in Cornwall otherwise I'd be round to swipe a piece ;-)

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  4. Wooww, LOVE the combinations, I love all of these but I usually get strange looks when I put them all together - but this looks declicious! Maybe you could send me a doorstep delivery? :p

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  5. This sounds like a really interesting combination...the caramelised banana sounds great too!! I was trying to think of where I could take a picture of my cake for World Baking Day...! I'd love a slice of this cake it looks delicious :-)

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  6. I had chocolate and peanut butter in a slice yesterday and was thinking how good it is - you are doing a fine example of leading the way for world baking day - maybe I will need to join in!

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  8. This cake looks wonderful. Wish someone would leave me a slice on my doorstep !!
    I am not a fan of peanut butter but for some reason, goodness knows why, I have a jar of the smooth version in the cupboard........

    I looked at the World Baking Day website and some of those pictures are very witty. Great fun. Now I have worked out that tweeting is not essential to taking part I might just have a go.....excuse for baking number 38c !!

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  9. Ooh yes please, that sounds like a wonderful combination and interesting to see that the marg worked well.

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  10. Yum, that does look rather decadent. Happy Baking.

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  11. Caramelising bananas sounds very interesting, as does a peanut butter-coconut combination. This cake looks and sounds amazing, it literally has be salivating. I will definitely be making this!

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  12. I’m not a fan of peanut butter-unless I’m making a satay but that cake looks o good...love the last photo of it on the doorstep!!

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  13. I am loving the way you caramelised the bananas in caramel and can imagine this turned a good banana cake into something very special indeed. It is something I would love to try especially with that icing. What a good idea as always!
    I am out all day tomorrow and have been gardening all day today so sadly I will not get to post anything for World Baking Day. Also, intending to write up my We Should Cocoa post tomorrow evening and that takes precedence for me!
    Happy Baking Day :-)

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  14. Love the flavor combinations in your cake - what an amazing group of flavours! It's a stunner visually too, I wish I had been there to taste some! Particularly like the idea of the peanut butter frosting. Yum.

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  15. Looks lovely, and a great combination, chocolate, coconut and peanut butter sounds delish x

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  16. I hadn't realised! How could I not have known it was World Baking Day! Perfect excuse (as if one is needed) to pop the pinny on! And what a great cake you've baked Choclette to celebrate!

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  17. Wow all my favourite flavours except coconut! I would love to have one of these placed on my doorstep :) How did I not know about World Baking day? I'm just catching up on blogs now and everyone is posting about it. Luckily I've baked something tonight so I can join in tomorrow :)

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  18. Hahaha, love your last photo. What an amazing cake. Wow! I don't know how you keep coming up with such fabulous recipes Choclette.

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  19. Yum! Chocolate, banana and peanut butter are a match made in heaven and I totally understand why you wanted to eat that icing with a spoon, it sounds absolutely delicious.

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  20. yay... that last photo of the cake on the doorstep is genius and really made me smile... I love it... I love the fact that it is going to make me check to see if you drove over from home to deliver one to my front door... but also makes me smile because i'm the kind of person not to notice and step right in it... which is why it is so genius... as well as the fact that the cake looks superb! x

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  21. What to say, this looks so good! A yummy yummy cake! Well done you.

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  22. Your cake looks great, wonderful taste combination! Fun pictures too!

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  23. Cracking combination of flavours - I love the look of this one!

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  24. This look amazing. I completely forgot that I was meant to take a photo of it in an unusual place. I'd better make more to make up for it!

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  25. LOVE your last photo Choclette.......and it just looks so right! And the cake ingredients also sound divine too..... LOVELY box of baking ingredients too and stork is still a favourite fat in baking for me,I use it a lot.

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  26. Oh my! This is simply amazing & what a wonderful cake! Indeed a Rolls Royce of Banana cakes & so tempting! You can count on me to try this recipe out! DELICIOUS! :)

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  27. I love the sound of this. I'd never have thought of caramelising the bananas. Now I'm gonna have to give this one a go!

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  28. Oh gosh - it does sound fabulous. I think I'd have trouble resisting the icing too. Thanks for letting me know about this one!

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  29. My favourite food in the whole world is peanut butter and banana sandwiches...now you have shown me how to make it into a cake..WOW!!! Thank you :)

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