I have slowly been collecting proper kitchenware. I used to have a thing for office supplies. Now I get excited about mixing bowls and lemon zesters. Mostly this has just meant swapping out my plastic IKEA kitchen starter set bowls with nice ceramic LeCreuset items (it’s not as expensive as it sounds. T.K. Maxx is awesome for these deals) and acquiring non-stick pans. I find that cooking is just so much more satisfying when you have proper grown-up tools.
My last two purchases have been specifically for one particular recipe; Banana Cake.
This is usually Pete’s recipe. He was the cook when we got together. I could barely make rice. This cake is suppose to be a tiny layer cake, but Pete always makes it in a loaf tin. It still works but just takes longer to cook and tends to get a crispy crust. Always lovely. The two times I have attempted the cake it has gone horribly wrong. I then gave up and left it to Pete.
As I have slowly taken over the majority of our culinary life, I refuse to let this simple recipe get the better of me. It only has five ingredients and three directions. I was going to make this cake. After the disaster of the flourless cake last weekend, I went out and got a hand mixer (the better to cream the sugar and butter of this recipe) and a proper round cake tin.
Today, after I got a personal rejection for the job I have been daydreaming about, I decided it was the perfect time to bake a cake. (You’ll be happy to hear I took the rejection well. No tears, no wobbly chin or voice. I even managed a smile.) I took off my jewelery and got stuck in.
Out came the mixer, the new tin and the new bowls. I haven’t used a hand mixer since I was a kid helping my mom. And then I think all I really did was lick the cage-looking things that do the actual work. I dumped the butter and sugar in a bowl and started up the mixer.
Clumps of butter and sugar went spinning out the bowl. I wiped my face off (good thing I had an apron on), tied my hair back and tried again. I finally got the hang of the creaming situation and continued on. I needed sifted flour. I don’t have a sifter so I propped my IKEA wire strainer over a bowl and gave it a little shake. It was all coming together. I folded in and gently stirred and poured the yellow batter into the cake pan and into the oven it went.
As I was washing up I noticed I had somehow managed to get batter on my trouser leg. Didn’t feel so great about getting properly dressed this morning at that moment. I didn’t even get through the day without dropping something on myself. Typical. (Stay tuned for more on this adventure later in the week.)
25 minutes later, the timer went off and I peered into the oven expecting an unrisen mess. But low and behold, there was a beautiful golden brown cake that ‘sprung back when lightly pressed.’
Rejection, thy name is no longer banana cake.
4 oz. butter
4 oz. caster sugar
4 oz. self raising flour, sifted
2 bananas, mashed
Icing sugar, to dust
Grease a 9inch cake tin and pre-heat oven to 180 (350)
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with the second egg. Fold in the remaining flour with the mashed banana.
Pour batter into greased tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Turn out on a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar.