This is a lovely moist, rich and fruity cake. The walnuts add to the taste as well as the texture. It’s a bit like an upmarket Hummingbird cake. The photos show an early attempt at a three colour chocolate collar. I wanted to add to the Caribbean theme, but looks a touch messy. By all means have a go at a chocolate collar, but avoid my mistake and cover the sides, using extra filling, so the chocolate has something to stick to. I won’t include directions for the collar as I’m still aiming to improve this. You Tube has lots of good tutorials.
Time: 70 minutes + cooling. 12 – 15 minutes for the topping.
Difficulty: Moderate, but more challenging if you make a chocolate collar.
Credits: The inspiration for this cake came from the “St Lucia Banana Cake” recipe in the excellent BBC Good Food book “101 Cakes and Bakes”
– 350g/12oz self-raising flour
– 1sp bicarbonate of soda
– 2 or 3 tsp mixed spice
– 175g/6oz light muscovado sugar
– 4 eggs
– 200ml/7fl oz sunflower oil
– 2 bananas, mashed
– 50g desiccated coconut
– 100g/4oz pineapple, finely chopped
– zest and juice of an orange
– 100g/4oz walnuts, chopped
Filling and topping
– 400g/14oz full fat cream cheese
– 200g/7oz icing sugar
– 50g/2oz dried banana pieces
– 50g/2oz walnut halves
Tinned pineapple works fine
If you only have unripe bananas you can soften them in the micro-wave. Stab a few holes through the skin and give them several 20 second blasts until soft. Take care when you peel them; they’ll be very hot inside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8″ round tins, preferably loose bottomed.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl with the bicarb, mixed spices and sugar. Mix together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the oil until smooth. Stir this mixture into the flour and add the bananas, coconut, pineapple, orange zest, orange juice and walnuts. Stir well to mix.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 45 minutes, until risen and firm. (If unsure, test with a skewer, which should come out clean.) Cool in the tins for ten minutes then remove, peel off the paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the filling & topping, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar to create a smooth, firm mixture. Spread half over one cake then put the other cake on top, flattest side uppermost. Spread the remaining topping over it. You could flatten it to a smooth surface or create a pattern with a fork or simply swirl it. Add the banana chips and walnuts.