Thursday, 4 July 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf Cake

Bananas can be surprisingly divisive when it comes to baking, with the mere suggestion of banana cake causing some to sneer. They also have the temerity to rise in alkalinity as they ripen, which can do peculiar things to a baking batter. Do not fear though fellow baking adventurers, for despite their foibles bananas are a wonderful ingredient to bake with and banana cake, when good is one of the easiest and most delicious cakes of all. Fortunately, this moreishly moist chocolate chip banana loaf is very, very good, with the heady fragrance of ripe bananas complimented by notes of vanilla and butterscotch. I really cannot sing the praises of this fantastic loaf cake highly enough. It is not only one of my best banana cakes, but one of the very best cakes I make (and I do make a lot).

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: 65-70 Mins
175ml Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs plus 1 Yolk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
175g Light Muscovado Sugar
175g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Ripe Bananas (Well mashed)
100g White Chocolate (Chopped with vigour)
100g Dark Chocolate (Also chopped with vigour)
2tbsp Golden Syrup

A pair of tips before we begin. I place the chocolate in the fridge for an hour or two before use as I find it then shatters into tiny splinters when chopping, which melt into the mixture during baking. I also use loaf tin liners which you can pick up inexpensively at most supermarkets. They save a significant amount of time and you can even leave the loaf in the case to serve.

With the formalities out of the way, it's time to have some fun. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3, grease a 22cm (2lb) loaf tin and line with baking paper or a paper loaf tin liner. Pour the vegetable oil into a medium bowl or large jug. Add the eggs and vanilla, then mix together with a fork or mini whisk. These are the wet ingredients.

In a separate large mixing bowl mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix together to a smooth batter. Fold through the bananas and chopped chocolate, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the oven until risen, brown and a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the loaf. When you are happy the cake is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 15 minutes to cool slightly, then remove and place on a wire rack with a plate underneath. Drizzle over the golden syrup and leave to cool completely. That's it, all finished. I implore you, I beseech you to give this one try. It's a real star.

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