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.
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.
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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