These lovely well-risen, light-textured moist cakes are perfect for when the bananas are over-ripe in the fruit bowl and no one is keen on eating them! The seeds and sugar topping adds crunch and nuttiness. Baking two small cakes is perfect when making for school fetes, etc. While one goes out the door never to be tasted or seen again, the other can stay at home to please the family!
MAKES 2 CAKES (EACH SERVING 6)
COOK TIME 30-40 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING
100g (4oz) baking spread, plus extra for greasing
150g (5oz) muscovado sugar
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs
2 medium (about 200g/7oz) ripe bananas (see tips), peeled and mashed
FOR THE TOPPING
25g (1oz) pumpkin seeds
25g (1oz) sunflower seeds
1 tbsp demerara sugar
1. You will need two 450g (1lb) loaf tins (see tips). Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, then grease the tins with baking spread and line with baking paper.
2. Measure the baking spread, sugar, flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, add the eggs and bananas and beat with an electric hand whisk until light and combined. Spoon the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the tops. Sprinkle over the seeds and demerara sugar.
3. Bake both cakes on the middle shelf in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean.
4. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the baking paper before leaving to cool down completely.
Can be made up to a day ahead and kept in an airtight container.
The cakes freeze well. Eat one now and freeze the other for later.
MARY’S CLASSIC TIPS
Never throw out even the blackest of bananas. The riper they are, the softer and more flavour they have. Bananas also freeze really well. Once past their best for eating, peel and open freeze on a tray, then pack into freezer bags. You’ll always have bananas to hand to make this quick and easy cake – just defrost and use as above.
To make one large cake, use a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
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Classic, published by BBC Books on 25th January, price £26. As well as Mary’s introduction the book contains more than 100 all-new recipes, with Mary’s crucial tips for each one. Chapters include canapés and first courses, fish, poultry and game, pork, lamb and beef, vegetarian, puddings and desserts, and teatime. To order a copy for £20.80 until 4th February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.