I’ve indulged in a lusty love affair with baked con­fec­tions for most of my life. In my twen­ties I found a recipe in Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook (1996) that star­ted me on a tra­di­tion of mak­ing banana and zucchini/courgette bread every year over the winter hol­i­days. They were easy, yummy and a per­fect gift. My best friend even took up the banana bread torch and has con­tin­ued to make her friends and fam­ily breads for gifts every Christmas.

Black Banana Cake with Chocolate & Walnuts

Black Banana Cake with Chocolate & Walnuts

Then one day a cer­tain Nigel Slater, of  Simple Cooking fame, brought my banana bread love-in to an abrupt end.

How could I turn my back on deli­cious banana bread you ask?

One simple word.

Cake.

Why have bread when you can have cake?! And not just any old cake. Black Banana Cake with chocol­ate and hazel­nuts. Oh yeah, that got your attention.

Since the day this glor­i­ous recipe came into my life I’ve made it about twice a month. The first attempt was a smash­ing suc­cess des­pite not hav­ing any chocol­ate in the house (which is crim­inal on many levels, but let’s focus on the pos­it­ive). Since then my clever hus­band has ensured we always have bak­ing chocol­ate to hand.

For details on how to bake Black Banana Cake I decided to link to another blog­gers efforts. Neil Cowburn has done a great job at set­ting out instruc­tions and I see no reason to rein­vent the wheel. Thanks Neil, who­ever you are, I’m sure you’re lovely and clearly have great taste in cakes! :)

A note on nuts: this cake is per­fectly divine without the addi­tion of nuts, or chocol­ate as men­tioned above. So don’t feel like you have to use them.  And don’t think hazel­nuts are the only way to go either. We’re more likely to have wal­nuts in the cup­board, and frankly I like them a wee bit more than hazel­nuts, so I use them instead. Although I’m not apposed to switching-up my nut options should the addi­tion of hazel­nuts, or any other nut for that mat­ter, prove to be bet­ter in this par­tic­u­lar recipe. Long live nutty diversity (and chocolate!).

So, if you’re a lover of banana bread — and why, I ask, shouldn’t you be? — or even if you’re not, my hus­band and his broth­ers aren’t but they love this cake des­pite them­selves, I highly recom­mend giv­ing black banana cake a go. You’ll thank me… even if you waist­band won’t. ;-)

Happy bak­ing, friendly reader. If you have a recipe you want to share, please tell us about it in our com­ments sec­tion!  <3

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