6 February 2011

Walnut, ginger & banana tea cake

From even as far back as last Wednesday, I knew I'd be making a cake - or muffins - this weekend.  I just had this yen to bake.

It's been ages since I made a cake.  Hubby rather took over the cake making mantle with his gorgeous Boiled Fruit Cake, but he's been a bit too busy lately for baking and we've got out of the habit of having a cake around.  Now this state of affairs is undoubtedly good for our waistlines, but is it good for us spiritually?  ~takes tongue firmly out of cheek~

Speaking of waistlines - I decided to go out for a "walk" this afternoon.  It was blowy and coolly damp out there and, having been sat beside a partially open window for three hours and not frozen to death, I thought it might be a good moment to begin my "Mummy Walks Around the Block" project.  You see, I've been (pretty much) incapable of walking for these last six months or more, due to Polymyalgia Rheumatica.  In fact, I'm fairly incapable of standing for longer than two or three minutes at any one time.  I thought it would be good to see whether a) I could make it around the smaller of the two "blocks" we've got available to us here and b) how many garden walls I would have to sit on, if I didn't.

Well, it turned out to be three garden walls - and I did make it all the way around our little block.  Which is remarkable, on its own!  Okay, it's only 0.21 of a mile, but it's a start.

So anyway, I digress.  Back to the cake.

The ingredients list turned into something of an epic, which is largely due to the fact that I have a number of ingredients left over from christmas (walnuts and stem ginger), but I may have got a tad carried away.  No matter, however, as the whole turned into very much a sum of its parts and it is definitely a cake I would make again.  The texture is very moist, although not heavy, and it doesn't require a slick of butter in order to make it palatable, as many tea cakes tend to.

Such was its siren's call, that upon returning from my amble around the block, we immediately indulged in a cup of tea and a slice of cake, thereby negating any good the amble might have done me.  Very British.


Ingredients :

225g self-raising flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
175g softened butter
50g light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp clear honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 medium sized ripe banana, mashed
50g walnut pieces (crushed small, if necessary)
100g sultanas
2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped
warm water, if necessary.

Method :

1.  Preheat the oven to 160c/140c fan/Gas 3.

2.  Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

3.  Tip the flour, cinnamon, butter, sugar, honey, banana., walnuts and eggs into a large mixing bowl and mix for some 2-3 minutes or until just combined.

4.  Add the stem ginger and sultanas to the bowl and continue mixing until combined.

5.  Decant into the loaf tin and level the top.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and bake for 1 hour.

6.  When done, the top should feel firm and not springy.  Bake for another 10 minutes if necessary.

7.  Cool slightly, then lift out onto a cooling rack using the paper.  Once cold, remove the paper completely.

8.  Cut into thick slices and serve with a cup of tea for the adults and a glass of milk for the juniors.

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