Here’s a lovely easy cake with a terrific taste and a great range of textures including crunchy nuts, chewy fudge and squidgy pieces of banana, all of which combine and complement each other wonderfully well.
Serves: 10 – 12 slices
Time: Around 70 minutes + cooling & decorating
Need: One 20cm/8” round tin, ideally loose bottomed
- Butter to grease the tin
- 150g/5½oz Self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 150g/5½oz soft light brown sugar
- 150g/5½oz butter or soft margarine
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g/3½oz – 125g/4½oz pre-bought fudge cut small (I used choc fudge bars)
- 1 large firm banana or 2 small ones – sliced or chunked quite small
- 50g/1¾oz chopped nuts
- 1 – 2 Tbsp milk
Decorating option 1 (as shown)*
- 50g/1¾oz butter, softened
- 50g/1¾oz full fat cream cheese or mascarpone
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Around 150g/5½oz white chocolate
- A few nuts, fudge pieces, freeze-dried banana pieces etc.
Decorating option 2
- Icing sugar – for a simple dusting option
Decorating option 3
- Any butter cream mixture that you’re happy to use + sprinkles
* I only used this mixture on top of the cake. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t slice the cake horizontally and have two layers, but you’ll need to increase the ingredients, probably by about a third.
1. Butter the tin and line the base. Turn oven on to heat up to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, butter/margarine, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until everything is well combined.
3. Add in the fudge pieces, banana pieces and chopped nuts. Stir to combine and distribute well. Tip into the tin. Level the surface.
NB The fudge, banana and nuts are likely to sink during baking. Personally I’m quite happy with this, but to avoid it you could try coating the pieces in flour. You could also cut them very small, but then there’s a risk that the texture loses its “bite”.
4. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes (check at 35 min), until well risen, golden and pulling away from the sides of the tin.
5. Cool in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
6. For the topping, first put the chocolate in a bain marie to slowly melt. Meanwhile, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese then sift in the icing sugar. Stir gently at first then add the vanilla extract and beat more vigorously. Take the melted chocolate off the heat and allow to cool a little then tip the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate while stirring. Whisk to create a light airy mixture. (If at any stage you find small lumps of butter in the mixture it will need to be sieved.)
7. Spread or pipe the topping over the cake and add the freeze-dried banana chips plus any reserved nuts and fudge pieces.
NB As I mentioned above, you could also slice the cake in half horizontally and fill it, providing that you have made sufficient topping/filling.
Below are a few that I’d love you to try: