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Saturday Baking: My Crush on Nigel Slater Continues…

Nigel Slater's banana and chocolate cake

As you might have noticed from last week’s delicious lemon and thyme cake, I’ve currently got a massive chef-crush on Nigel Slater*. This week I was looking to use up brown bananas *again*. I don’t know why I bother buying bananas they never get eaten! Anyway, this looked like something a little different to try and the end result was fabulous moist, sweet, sticky and beautifully chocolately – just make sure you choose a good bitter dark chocolate otherwise the cake might end up a bit too sweet.**

* Don’t panic Nigel, I’m not going to start stalking you –  but if you fancy inviting me over for a delicious lunch and a chat I’d be happy to oblige!

** I’d run out of muscovado sugar and had to use regular caster sugar. It worked out fine, but I can see that muscovado sugar would add a add a depth and treacley taste which would improve the cake even further. I’d definitely try it next time…

Nigel Slater's banana and chocolate cake Nigel Slater's banana and chocolate cake

Ingredients:

Plain flour: 250g
Baking powder: 2 teaspoons
Butter, softened: 125g
Muscovado sugar: 235g
Ripe bananas: 400g (peeled weight)
Vanilla extract: a teaspoon
Eggs: 2
Dark chocolate: 100g

Method:

1. You will also need a non-stick loaf tin approximately 24cm x 12cm x 7cm deep, lined with baking paper. Set the oven at180°C/Gas 4. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together till light, fluffy and pale coffee coloured.
3. Put the bananas in a bowl and mash them with a fork. The mixture should be lumpy rather than crushed to a purée. Stir in the vanilla extract. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork then beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Introduce a spoonful of flour at any sign of curdling.
4. Chop the chocolate into small pieces – about the size of fine gravel – and fold them and the bananas into the butter and sugar mixture. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder.
5. Scrape the mixture into the lined baking tin then bake for about fifty minutes. Check the cake is ready by inserting a metal skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out moist but clean then the cake is done. If there is any sign of wet cake mixture, return the cake to the oven for a few more minutes and cover the surface with foil.
6. Leave the cake in its tin to settle for fifteen minutes or so, then loosen the sides with a palette knife and carefully lift out of its tin. Leave to cool a little longer then carefully peel off the paper. Serve cool, in thick slices.

Nigel Slater's banana and chocolate cake

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