October is the last month that The Cake Slice bakers are baking from our current cake book, the suitably titled The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. Keeping to tradition, as it was our last month we were free to choose any recipe from the book we wanted to bake. Looking through the recipes there were so many delicious sounding cakes, but in the end I settled on a simple sounding banana walnut cake. There is something so pleasing about a humble banana cake and seeing as I have some overripe bananas sitting on the counter it seemed like the ideal choice
The recipe made a large 9inch round, but I decided to halve the recipe and bake it in a 2lb (18x11cm) loaf tin instead. Once baked, I decided to forgo the suggested cream cheese frosting as the cake was perfectly moist without it. This made it more of a snacking cake and meant I could keep it at room temperature, rather than in the fridge.
I substituted the flour in the recipe with some gf white teff flour, brown rice flour and a little xanthan gum. However something in my mix was obviously not quite right as the middle of the cake stayed sunken – it didn’t sink on cooling, it never rose in the first place! I’ve had this happen before and found reducing the baking powder helped, I’ll have to try it again and see. The middle was still fully cooked, no raw batter, so I didn’t really mind. It looked more rustic that way (that’s what I’m saying anyway).
The cake was also studded with little chunks of walnut and a few hazelnuts which added a nice crunch. The cake batter itself also contained some cinnamon and brown sugar which helped give it its pleasing golden brown colour and added a wonderful depth of flavour and a warming treacly note against the banana, which itself was quite subtle.
All in all a lovely flavoured cake. The banana and sour cream gave it a lovely soft and tender crumb. It was far too easy to keep going back to cut off another slice.
I’ve really enjoyed the recipes we have baked from The Cake Book, but am now eagerly looking forward to some tasty new bakes our next cake book. Come back next month to find out what it is!
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Banana Walnut Cake
(Recipe from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
180g plain flour (I used a mix of white teff & brown rice flour)
½ tsp xanthan gum (if making gf)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp cinnamon
150g caster sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g sour cream
120g mashed banana (2 small bananas)
55g chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 9inch round deep springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Mix together the flour, (xanthan gum), cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars, a tablespoon at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
Mix in the mashed banana and sour cream.
Add the dry ingredients and mix gently until the flour is just combined.
Chop the nuts into chunks and stir through the cake mixture.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 35 minutes until springy to the touch when gently pressed and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before releasing from the tin and leaving to cool completely.
Top with a light dusting of icing sugar. You can add a chocolate or cream cheese frosting if you want to be extra decedent.
Makes 1 x 9inch cake
Note: I halved the recipe above and baked it in a 2lb (18x11cm) loaf tin for 25-30 minutes.