Over the last few days, I have seen a bunch of bananas go from raw to ripe, to then slightly over ripe. Watching this metamorphosis was quite incredible – the life of a banana from youth to heyday to today, looking a lot less pert. Whilst over ripe bananas in their original state are not desired by most people, they do make a wonderful contribution to deserts.
I decided to make a chocolate and banana marble cake – a matrimony made in heaven. Really feeling the moment, I got carried away and decided to make 2 of them. However, I was having a clumsy day (week) and was better off staying clear of the kitchen altogether. In other words, I forgot to use the bananas. Then came my next big gaffe; I messed up on the ratios and only realized as the pans were sent off to get baked. Was I losing my marbles?
So, here I am talking to you because the pressure of waiting and staring at the oven for one hour is just a little too much for me. First the bananas and now this! It was time to pull the first cake out of the oven, but it looked hopeless and wobbled like jelly. The outside was beautiful but the inside was like a lava. The odds weren’t on my side but I couldn’t give up on so many great ingredients. Off it went back in the oven for a bit longer. I checked it again and it looked, smelled and felt on target. But it wasn’t over yet. Cake number 2 took its own path and didn’t quite look like its sibling. It was finally time for that baby to come out and for the first time I understood the stress involved in delivering twins. Thankfully, the second cake came out as it should; safe and sound!
In high insight, whilst the cakes certainly took longer to bake, and a touch dry from the outside but it made me realize that in the face of a potentially failed baking project, if you ‘keep calm and carry on’, you might just pull it off. And there was always Plan B – Cake Pops.
As for the cakes, the smell in my apartment at this very moment is chocolaty, toasty and leaving me feeling somewhat high. I really encourage all non-bakers to try this out as without a doubt, this is one of the simplest cakes to execute.
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g caster sugar
½ tsp. vanilla essence
½ tsp. coffee essence
4 large eggs, at room temperature (run under warm water)
225g Self Raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1) Heat oven to 350F
2) Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla with a whisk until light and fluffy
3) Beat the eggs and in 4 stages
4) Sift the flour and fold in to the mixture
5) Split the mixture in to 2 batches. Fully incorporate the coffee essence in one batch and the cocoa powder in the other
6) Alternate spoonful’s of the two cake batters to the greased baking pan
7) Bake for 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean
Serve with sliced strawberries
Pearls Of Wisdom
If you have stale leftovers after a few days, re-purpose the cake to make a trifle