This is a very soft cake that we make a lot. We always have bananas in the fruit bowl and sometimes can’t eat them fast enough – even though we’re addicted to fried bananas for breakfast (see the method in the book) – so we use them in this cake. We take the cake with us as travelling fodder, as none of my children will eat the food offered on trains or planes: in fact, one of my stepsons used to throw up whenever he saw his passport. The cake is also great served as a pudding. Top it with some cream or crème fraîche and a fruit purée made by mashing raspberries or strawberries with icing sugar. Also try it as a breakfast bread, add it to a school lunchbox, or offer it as a snack when the kids come home hungry after swimming or surfing. The recipe comes from Maravic, who has worked for Ben for many years. She is a great cook (and her spring rolls are a wonder – there’s a recipe in the book).
MAKES 10-12 SLICES
150g butter, at room temperature 125g light muscovado sugar 225g self-raising flour 4 large ripe bananas (about 550g in total, weighed in their skins) 3 medium eggs, beaten pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla extract
● Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 21cm x 11cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper or a 2lb loaf-tin liner. ● Put the butter into a large bowl and whisk until softened. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Sift the flour over the top. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, then add to the flour. ● Add the eggs, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth. This is best done with some type of electric whisk. ● Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 60-80 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. ➤