I made a banana cake the other day and decided to jazz it up.
I have a great banana cake recipe. It comes from Jo Seager in a book called A Treasury of New Zealand Baking. It's deliciously moist and is always well received.
1 c sugar
100g melted butter
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 c milk
1 tsp baking soda
150ml yoghurt (either plain or fruit) - sour cream also works well
2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a 20-22cm cake tin.
Beat the sugar, melted butter and eggs until thick and creamy. Add the bananas and beat well (if you bananas are really ripe, just throw them in whole, they will mash up with seconds of the mixers hitting them. This saves some extra work, and some extra washing up).
Heat the milk in a pot on the stove or glass jug in the microwave (it has to be glass, milk goes crazy in anything else in the microwave, believe me, I know from experience). Stir the baking soda into the milk and then stir this into the banana mixture. Add the yoghurt, flour and baking powder and mix well. Pour into the tin.
The recipe says to bake for 45-50 mins, but I always find mine needs a bit longer. Check after 45 mins using a skewer, but don't worry if it seems like it needs longer.
Once cooked, take out of the oven and cool in the tin for 5 mins, then completely on a wire rack.
I iced it with a cream cheese icing. I don't use exact measurements for my cream cheese icing - it's about a tub of cream cheese (250g) to about 150g of butter, both at room temperature. Beat this well. Don't use light cream cheese as it will split. You can't be skinny on this one - you have to go for the full fat version. Add sifted icing sugar slowly, while still beating. Keep adding icing sugar until you have the consistency you want. Add lemon juice and zest to taste if you want, I find lemon helps to cut through the sweetness. Adding vanilla is also tasty, but just bear in mind that if you add real vanilla, you will end up with the seeds showing through the icing.
After icing the cake, I popped it into the fridge to help the icing set. While the cake was chilling, I melted some dark chocolate over a double boiler.
Then came the fun part. I literally took spoonfuls of the chocolate and drizzled, splattered, flicked and dropped it all over the cake. It made a bit of a mess, but it was a deliciously fun mess.
This is just such a simple way to jazz up an otherwise plain cake, just to make it that little bit more special.