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BANANA CAKE

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For many reasons we decided this year to have a quiet Christmas, after catching up with family we packed the car and headed north on a road trip. We spent most of Christmas day on the most perfect of beaches in Byron Bay where we are staying just a few kilometres from the beach in the picturesque hinterland, waking to the sounds of birds and watching peacocks wander past as we eat breakfast on the deck.

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A variety of beautiful produce is grown in and around this area with a growing trend towards organic. I bought a bag of Macadamia nuts yesterday directly from a growers farm shop, the owner took the time to talk me through the unique process they use to grow their organic macadamias which are creamy and delicious straight from the shell. The drive has been a good chance for our daughter to see crops such as corn, sugarcane, macadamias and bananas grown on a large scale together with oyster and honey farms. On the way up we drove past several of The Big Things, one of which was The Big Banana which reminded me of this wonderfully moist Banana Cake which I recently made.

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Of course the original recipe with frosting is to die for but for me probably should be left for special occasions or treats. This cake is so fluffy and moist, due to its unusual method of cooking at a low temperature then putting the cooked cake straight into the freezer for 45mins after baking, that it is fine just dusted with a little icing sugar when cooled. I had mine with some fresh mulberries from our tree. When it’s just the three of us I cook a smaller cake reducing the quantity by a third and using a 20 cm square cake tin. For ease the quantities I used follow. I hope you love it as much as we do.

BANANA CAKE

1/2 cup unsalted butter
11/3 cups + 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup very ripe banana – mashed
Icing sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray a 20cm square cake tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Mix mashed bananas with lemon juice and set aside.
3. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Add the bananas and mix just until evenly distributed. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place immediately into freezer for 45 minutes.
4. Dust cake with icing sugar.

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