We may not have awakened to a winter wonderland on Christmas morning but as the day progressed, the heavens opened up and unleashed copious amounts of sparkly glitter, and very soon we were blanketed in the festive, white stuff. It’s funny how that on most days, snow is an inconvenience, a mess to drive in and the constant shovelling of driveways and footpaths isn’t the kind of exercise we enjoy on a wintry morning. However, I love it and during the holiday season, so does everyone else. True, driving can be treacherous, it’s freezing and the car never warms up, but I love winter, and I enjoy everything that comes with this season.
I would have preferred a more leisurely start to Christmas morning but since we do not partake in the traditional festivities of Christmas, our early start is usually, what has become our tradition now, a harried trip to the theatre to catch the first showing of a film. This year it was “A Night at The Museum 3” I really enjoyed this one because it is set in my hometown of London (and could possibly also, have a lot to do with the fact that Dan Stevens is playing Sir Launcelot).
As we left the movie theatre, the blue skies that had accompanied us earlier that morning, had all but disappeared. Muslin like layers of white, wispy clouds, tightly interwoven, were pinned to the once blue sky. The sun lay hidden behind its white veils, nudging the mercury to plummet 20 degrees.
We drove home in a popsicle mould that seemed to be happily chilling in a freezer drawer. Back inside the confines of our toasty home, we lit a crackling fire and attended to some slightly, mundane household tasks that needed to be addressed.
Christmas movies on the telly, a roaring fire, a belly full of comfort food, and a cup or two of soul soothing tea and I found my eye lids getting heavier by the minute. All in all, it was a day filled with precious family time, good food and snuggle time in front of a very, crackly fire.
I hope all of you had a wonderful day as well. What did you all do for Christmas?
Unfortunately, in all the lazy hubbub of the day, dessert was sorely neglected. We managed to scrounge up some ice cream and gelato, greedily scraping up every precious spoonful, and some imported English fruit cake to satisfy our cravings but I sure could have managed a slice or two of this very, delectable Roasted Banana Cake. I made this a few weeks ago with some bananas that looked like they were past their prime but on peeling them I discovered they were perfectly ripe. They made an excellent cake.
I’m not a big banana muffin, bread or cake fan. I think it’s something to do with the strong ethylene gas/musky aroma that bananas emit. I like bananas just fine to peel and eat, or throw in some ice cream or banana splits but I don’t like them baked into things. I find that cooking them a little bit, gets rid of that strong “fresh banana baked into things” taste. I make crepes with lightly sautéed bananas and I love them. So, with that theory in mind, I figured that if I roasted the bananas, then maybe that taste would not be apparent. I was right.
This could be considered an alcohol free Bananas Foster cake, I suppose. When I make my banana crepes, they’re always drizzled with a toffee sauce, as is this cake. The lovely thing with this cake is that all the toffee sauce gets absorbed into the cake as it sits and this lends great moistness and a melt in your mouth quality. It’s quite the celebratory cake. Don’t forget the crystallised ginger on top, it adds a wonderful sharpness to the rich flavour of the cake. Everyone who tasted the cake, loved the ginger.
Serves: 12 pieces
- 6 medium size bananas, ripe
- 8 tablespoons/113g butter
- ¾ cup/115g spelt flour
- ¾ cup/115g whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup/150g soft brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup/118ml milk
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- ¼ cup crystallised ginger pieces to top the cake
- TOFFEE SAUCE
- ¼ cup/50g soft brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Golden Syrup or corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch salt
- ½ cup/118ml heavy/double cream
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C
- Grease with non stick spray or butter a 9"/24 cm round cake tin
- Peel the bananas and chop them in medium size chunks.
- Place the butter in a cast iron skillet or oven proof dish and place in the oven to melt.
- Once the butter is melted, add the chopped bananas and place back in the oven.
- Roast the bananas for about 20-30 minutes.
- You want them soft but also tinged with golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the bananas are roasting, prep the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, add the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Stir to combine.
- In a bowl of a mixer, place the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Beat until combined.
- This can be done by hand too.
- Add the flour mixture and then the milk, mix gently.
- Add the butter and the roasted bananas and mix thoroughly.
- Add the chopped pecans and mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
- Place in the oven and bake until firm and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
- Cool the cake on a rack for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.
- Place in a cake plate with a lip to catch the toffee sauce.
- Pour the warm toffee sauce all over the cake and let the cake sit.
- The cake will absorb all the sauce.
- Cut the larger pieces of the crystallised ginger.
- Scatter over the top of the cake once the toffee sauce is absorbed.
- TOFFEE SAUCE
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the sugar, Golden Syrup, and pinch of salt.
- Let the sugars dissolve and allow the mixture to bubble.
- Add the heavy cream carefully (the mixture will bubble a lot)
- Mix until thickened and combined.
- Pull off the heat.
- Allow to cool a little before pouring over cake.
I cannot believe 2014 is coming to an end. I have no idea where the year went. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride this year and looking back on it, I don’t know how I did what I managed to do this year. In the midst of the craziness we persevere somehow.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all; my readers, my friends, my family and fellow bloggers who visit my site regularly and leave such thoughtful comments, I thank you for your friendship and your support and look forward to another year of reading, cooking, baking and friendship!
Have a wonderful New Year and I will see you in 2015!