Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dark Chocolate, Banana and Stem Ginger Cake

The Leather Bottle, Pleshey. A quaint pub (with real leather bottles in the window) in the centre of this extremely attractive Essex village which boasts a castle, well part of a castle, two pubs and a church. This was our choice for a quick pint and some well earned calories after speeding round the country lanes on our bicycles. A tiny snug bar with open fire was very welcoming after spending an hour in the garden waiting for the sun to shine.  A good selction of bitters including beers from the Black Sheep Brewery, the Black Sheep bitter was very good, almost comparable to Adnams.  However, the kitchen seemed to be on a go slow as we had to wait over an hour for a toasted cheese sandwich! The owner was very apologetic. Toasted sandwiches and chips hit the spot when they finally arrived! Well worth a visit but they need to resolve the problem in the kitchen!

Ok, let's bake a cake!

This is my version of a Good Food recipe I discovered a few days ago. I was tempted to use a 100% dark chocolate from Willies Cacoa that I purchased recently but chickened out and going for a 64% dark chocolate instead.

Ingredients

100g plain chocolate - I used a 64% dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter, softened
175g gold caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
25g cocoa
3 large bananas, peeled and diced
2 pieces of stem ginger (60g)
A pinch of salt (optional)

Topping

25g unsalted butter
2 generous tbsp plain flour
1 level tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp pecans, chopped

Chocolate, Banana and Ginger Cake
Method

  1. Heat the oven to 160C Fan. Butter and line the bases of a 30CM loaf tin with baking parchment. Start by making the topping, rub the butter into the flour, then mix the demerara sugar and chopped pecans. Melt the chocolate in a small glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.
  2. Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating well between each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold in. Add the sliced (don't mash it) banana and stem ginger and chocolate and mix well. Christine's Top tip - Don't slice up the banana until you're ready to use it othewise it will go black.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tin and add the topping gently pressing it into the top of the mixture to ensure some of it sticks.
  4. Bake for about 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes in the tin then turn on to a rack to allow to cool completely.
The topping provides an extra crunchy dimension with the stem ginger providing some additional zing! Overall a delicious chocolate cake, can be served warm or cold.