Black bananas – sugary to the point of sickly – will perfume a cake to perfection, providing the depth of flavour you always hope a banana cake will have but so rarely does.
plain flour 250g
baking powder 2 tsp
butter 125g, softened
muscovado sugar 235g
ripe bananas 400g (peeled weight)
vanilla extract 1 tsp
dark chocolate 100g
You will need a non-stick loaf tin approximately 24cm x 12cm x 7cm deep, lined with baking paper. Set the oven at 180C/gas 4.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Put the bananas in a bowl and mash them with a fork. The mixture should be lumpy rather than crushed to a puree. Stir in the vanilla extract. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork then beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Add a spoonful of flour at any sign of curdling.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and fold it and the bananas into the butter and sugar mixture. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder. Scrape the mixture into the lined baking tin then bake for about 50 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.
Leave the cake in its tin to settle for 15 minutes or so, then loosen the sides with a palette knife and carefully lift out of the tin. Leave to cool a little longer then carefully peel off the paper. Serve cool, in thick slices.
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