Banana bread is one of my all-time favourite cakes. It has a texture all of its own; moist and dense. Quite unlike almost any other cake. And that’s no bad thing. But the texture of banana isn’t something everyone gets along with. For those of you who reside – rightly or wrongly – in that camp, but want the flavour of banana in their cake, my Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake is the answer.
That’s a point worth emphasizing; this cake preserves all of the banana flavour of a classic banana bread. What it changes is the texture, yielding a lighter, more cakey sponge. It’s somewhere between a banana loaf cake and a Victoria sponge; a pleasant place to be.
With chocolate or without, only you’ll know how you like your banana cake. Personally, I find the use of a good chocolate pleasantly punctuates what can otherwise be a rather uniform sponge, one that isn’t tooth-achingly sweet. Not keen on the idea of chocolate? Glacé cherries make for an excellent substitute.
Similarly, the addition of flaked almonds – always a good one – adds to the complexity of the banana cake. With the nuts, each mouthful has a tempting layer of crunch to accompany the soft, temptingly luscious inner of the cake. Enjoyed with a coffee, this chocolate orange banana traybake is pure bliss.
* n.b. though based on my original recipe for chocolate and banana loaf cake, this cake was conceived and baked by the long-suffering Katherine.
Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake
Makes 1 large traybake
- 170g butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 345g self-raising flour
- 175g orange chocolate, in large chunks
- 40g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). Grease and line a 22x22cm square cake tin.
- Using a fork, mash the bananas in a suitably sized bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, before beating in the eggs one by one.
- Mix the bananas into the cake batter, before folding through the flour and chocolate.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared cake tin, sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for 40 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 150C and cook for a further 30 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
Cost: Banana cakes aren’t exactly decadent. But what they lack in decadence, they make up for in flavour. This lack of unnecessary bells and whistles makes for a particularly frugal cake, especially when you consider it a way to use otherwise unpleasant bananas.
All things considered, you should be able to make this delicious chocolate orange banana traybake for as little as £3.50. Though the cost does largely depend on the chocolate used.