Hello everyone! BBC2 here, with a big thank-you to you all for dropping by and reading our blog. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank BBC1 for his very excellent Chinese meal – Stir Fried Beef, Vegetables and Noodles, which he cooked for us the other night. I know that BBC1 has already told you that we watch Dr Who regularly, but he didn’t say we also avidly watch Strictly Come Dancing, I believe it’s called Dancing With the Stars in the USA. So, in the manner of Strictly Come Dancing it was a 9 out of 10, for the Chinese, he needs to do a little more work on his posture (cook the peas a little more) but it was a well choreographed dish, packed with lots of content and flavour! Given the fact that he had never danced a Chinese before, I have to say it was the best I have tasted in sometime, well done!
Now back to the cake! As BBC1 has said on some occasions I can be a little tight. I like to think of myself as being thrifty and not wasting resources. Which is why I like what can be done with a few leftover ingredients or something that is just about to be thrown away. We had a couple of bananas that had gone over ripe so with a few store cupboard ingredients and some dark rum leftover from a friends visit (neither of us drink rum) I made this cake. I have made it before and it’s a little different each time depending on what I have in the store cupboard at the time. I think BBC2 could be right I am a skin flint, oh well that’s life, but I can’t be all bad or he wouldn’t have hung around this long! Anyway, do give this a try and let us know what you think…
100g/3½ oz soft unsalted butter
150g/5oz light brown sugar
2 drops vanilla extract
150g/5oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
Good pinch of ground cinnamon
Heaped teaspoon of baking powder
2 overripe bananas, mashed
100ml/4floz dark rum
100g/3½ oz soft light brown sugar
You will need a 22x10cm/8¾ x 4in loaf tin and some oil and greaseproof paper to line the tin.
Preheat the oven to 160c fan. Lightly oil the loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper, ensuring the paper comes up slightly higher than the tin as it will help keep the rum syrup from running down the side of the tin until it sets.
Put a small dry frying pan/skillet on a medium heat and dry roast the walnuts for a few minutes until they are just toasted, then chop them, or using a food blender pulse them until you have a roughly chopped mixture that is not too fine, and set about 2 tablespoons to one side to decorate the cake later.
In a large bowl or a food mixer put the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Now add one of the eggs and beat until it’s incorporated, then mix in the flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract and the baking powder. When it is all mixed add the second egg ensuring that it is incorporated before adding the third egg, as the mixture could split, then fold in the mashed banana and walnut (remembering to set some of the walnuts aside for later). Now pour the loose mixture into the loaf tin and smooth it out level, then place in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
When the cake is cooked leave it the tin while you make the rum syrup. To do this put a small pan on a medium heat then put in the dark rum and light brown sugar, bring it to rolling boil. When the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up a little higher so the syrup is bubbling and reducing and becoming thicker, it should take about five minutes, you are looking for something like runny honey consistency. Now pour it evenly over the top of the cake starting by pouring it down the centre, then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts you set to one side earlier and leave to cool. As always please be careful when doing this, as boiling sugar syrups are extremely hot. When the syrup has set, lift the cake out of the tin and peel back the greaseproof paper.
Cut into thick slices and serve with ice-cream or clotted cream.