Thursday, 31 May 2012

Banana Cake with Cinnamon and Walnuts

Bananas are something that we always end up having excess that goes over-ripened, isn’t it? They ripen quite fast that I have to add them to smoothies, pancakes etc to finish them up. This time, I decided to bake yet another banana cake. 

I adapted this recipe from one of my cake books Breads & Baking by Gina Steer. It is a straight forward recipe, but requires a bit of time and the method is different from the usual cakes which is why I wanted to give it a shot. Result was a nice cake, with beautiful aroma of banana and cinnamon throughout. The cake is also a bit high for my liking as I baked in 7 inch pan as mentioned in the recipe. You could also bake this cake in an 8 inch pan, by compromising a bit on the height.

The cinnamon in the cake marries very well with the banana flavour. The flavour of cinnamon doesn’t really come through, but the flavour of banana gets intense with the addition of cinnamon. It’s a soft cake with pleasant whiff of banana and cinnamon and not overly sweet. I haven’t added nuts as my son hates nuts in anything. But he loved this cake which comes as a surprise for me as he dislikes most cakes and bakes apart from anything that’s chocolaty.

About photography, here, I was playing around with the shadows to darken the certain areas of the picture to create a different style and make the food more prominent. I have chosen dark background for my pictures here to create a dark tone. You can see noticeable difference in the incident light on first and second picture. In both the pictures (1st and 2nd) I placed the food on a table next to a large glass door and the light is falling on the subject from the right. In both the pictures, I have also placed a reflector (I use a white cardboard box) on the left side of the picture to bounce some light that comes from the right, back into the subject. This reduces the heavy shadow caused by the food itself. In the second picture, I also blocked a bit of the light in the right corner by placing another cardboard on the right side, so that it blocks the light and creates heavy shadow. It was Soma who gave me this interesting bit of information and I would like to thank her a ton for that.

Banana Cake
serves 8
preparation time 10 minutes
Baking time 55 minutes
4 medium-sized ripe bananas, 400g
1 tsp lime juice
150g – 180g soft brown sugar
75g soft butter or margarine
1 ½ cups (250g) Self-raising flour
1tsp cinnamon powder
3 medium eggs
50g walnuts, chopped (Optional)
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and caster sugar to decorate
Fresh cream to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC 10 minutes before baking. Lightly oil and line the base of an 18cm/7inch deep round cake tin with baking paper.

2. Mash about 2 ½ bananas in a small bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and a heaped tablespoon of sugar. Mix together lightly and reserve.

3. Gently heat the remaining sugar and butter or margarine in a small bowl until the butter has just melted. Mix well and leave it aside to cool slightly.

4. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

5. Beat eggs into the cooled butter-sugar mixture until well incorporated. Pour this mixture into the well of flour, and mix thoroughly.

6. Gently stir in the mashed banana mixture.

7. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Thinly slice the remaining bananas and arrange over the cake mixture. sprinkle over the chopped walnuts, then cover with the remaining batter.

8. Bake in the oven for about 50-55 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool completely in the tin, turn out and then sprinkle with ground cinnamon and sugar.
Serve hot or cold with cream for pouring.

1.Towards the end of baking, if the cake starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with aluminium foil so that it prevents further browning.
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