Friday, 27 July 2012

Recipe: Banana and Chocolate Birthday Cake

Everyone I know seems to have a July birthday - hello crabs! Much of this month has been taken up choosing and wrapping presents, making cards, and baking birthday cakes. 

I have gone old-school with cakes. My current favourite way to decorate is with copious amounts of icing both inside and on top, and a very generous application of sprinkles. Nothing more.

This cake is a good alternative to the classic sponge with jam I also tend to make regularly. It's a good way to use up over-ripe bananas, and the chocolate spread makes it a fast one to ice too.

Recently, I bought a couple of 6" cake tins which are brilliant at producing those thicker, taller cakes, which I can't seem to stop Pinning. Of course you can use 7" or even 8" tins but the result will be a bungalow rather than a skyscraper.

Banana and Chocolate Birthday Cake

220g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.5 tsp salt
110g unsalted butter, melted
170g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 medium bananas, very ripe, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g chocolate spread/Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 160-170C/Gas mark 3.
2. Grease the cake tins and set aside.
3. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a medium bowl.
4. Melt the butter (I do this in a mug in the microwave for 20 seconds or so), then add this to the bowl of a mixer or a large bowl if you're using a hand mixer.
5. Add the sugar and blend together with the butter.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the bananas and the vanilla.
7. Finally, add the flour, a third at a time, beating well.
8. Divide between your prepared cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven.
9. After 30 minutes, test the centre of your cakes with a toothpick which should come out clean. If not, bake for another 5-10 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
10. Leave the cakes in their tins on a rack to cool down, before turning out.
11. When the cakes are completely cool, use half of the chocolate spread to sandwich the two halves together, and the rest of the spread on top. Follow with your choice of sprinkles, candles or whatever your heart desires.
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