Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Banana Almond and Dark Chocolate Cake



Living in Pakistan makes you realise two things - Summers mean intense power cuts and Winters mean intense cooking gas issues. In one word - Aaaarrrrrggggghh!

In the summers though, the aga works beautifully, which means there's plenty of baking fun, in the winters however it's depressive for us bakers. Or even those who like to cook. The pressure is so low that what would cook in a matter of minutes takes about 45 minutes to become anything. So in one word - Aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!

But now armed with LPG cylinders, we make do with whatever we have. Baking has to be a planned activity, if you're throwing in a cake into the oven, then you have to make sure you're also throwing in other things so that you use the aga to it's optimum. 



This cake was made in a situation like that. Where I was baking potatoes, making some cookies and then decided to throw in a cake to use up the bananas that were ripening in the fruit basket.

I used my favourite banana bread recipe substituting a bit of the flour with almond meal and throwing in plenty of dark chocolate - over 70 per cent - into the mix and making a ganache with the same chocolate.

The end result? A beautifully decadent tea cake that is as fun to make as it is to eat.



Banana Almond Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic Goddess 

Ingredients

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
100 grams butter - melted
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (70 per cent is super)
1 tsp vanilla extract


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC and get started on the rest.
  2.  Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, almond meal and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. 
  4. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the almonds, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Pour into a prepared tin.
  5. Scrape into the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.





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