Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dark Chocolate, Rum and Banana Loaf

With such grey and dreary days it is hard for one not to feel as gloomy as the weather outside, so here's a rather lovely recipe guaranteed to brighten up your kitchen at the very least. With exotic ingredients evocative of sunny, far away shores it is deliciously rich in flavour and a cracking cure for the winter blues. So if you're feeling glum head to the kitchen, put on some music and indulge in some welcome baking therapy!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 65-70 Mins

175ml Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
175g Dark Muscovado Sugar
150g Plain Flour
2tbsp Cocoa Powder
1tsp Baking Powder
1.5tbsp Dark Rum
1tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
250g Dark Chocolate (Roughly Chopped)
3tbsp Golden Syrup

To the kitchen! Begin by preheating the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Grease a 23cm (2lb I think!) loaf tin and line completely with baking paper (or you can use a handy loaf tin liner if you have one). In a medium bowl or large jug mix together the vegetable oil and eggs with a fork. In a separate large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder, then pour in the oil and the eggs, along with the rum and vanilla extract and mix to a smooth batter. Fold through the mashed bananas, then spoon around a third of the mixture into the base of the tin. Scatter over half of the chocolate, spoon over another third, scatter over the last of the chocolate and finally spoon over the rest of the mixture. I do it this way as I find if you mix the chocolate into the batter itself it tends to sink during baking. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 65-70 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake, then remove and leave in the tin for 10 minutes, just until the tin is cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the cake from the tin, then place on a wire rack. Drizzle over the golden syrup and leave to cool. You can serve this one cold, but it is also fantastic warmed through in the microwave and served with vanilla ice cream! Yum!

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