I write this while sitting in the kitchen of my wonderful friend and fellow food lover Rose, at the second of our newly founded lunch dates (last week I cooked Naan Pizzas, this week I am being treated to Leek and Potato Soup). She’s very kindly allowing me to abuse her internet as much as I like, I have no internet until the 26th, and she’s giving me yummy food to boot. This has provided me with the perfect excuse to check up on my favourite food blogs and update you with my most recent culinary conquest.
Now although I did little cooking in the last month I did invest in two new fantastic cook books (its becoming an addiction), one being Mad Hungry, my first proper American cookbook complete with cup measurements, and the other being The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake, a baking book made to accompany the brilliant BBC2 series (with 50% off at Waterstones now I couldn’t resist!). This week Ben started working at the Tic Toc Café in Brighton, where he now prepares food and makes coffee, and asked me to bake a cake for the first evening opening of the café. I was more then happy to oblige, partly to make a good first impression but mostly because I couldn’t wait to get stuck into my baking book. After a quick flick of the Cake section I went for the Banana Fudge Layer Cake, having all but a couple of the ingredients in the kitchen. Now I speak from experience here, use an electric mixer. Creaming butter with a wooden spoon for a sustained length of time gave me blisters, not cool. Luckily, the injuries where worth it. The cake tasted great, the sponge light and the fudge and banana slices making each mouthful deliciously sweet. Making the fudge was surprisingly easy too, and I plan on using the same recipe to make blocks of fudge wrapped in cellophane as presents. Yum.
Adapted from The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake
Makes one 20.5cm cake
- For the Sponge -
175g unsalted butter, softened
25g light brown muscovado sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tbsp milk
150g caster sugar
3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten
½ tsp vanilla extract
- For the Filling and Topping -
175g light brown muscovado sugar
75g double cream
1 ripe banana
150g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two 20.5cm sandwich tins (lining the bases with baking paper). Beat the softened butter in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Add the two sugars and beat well until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Add a tablespoon of the flour with the last portion of egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
- Sift in the remaining flour and fold into the mixture with a metal spoon.
- Mix the vanilla extract and milk before folding into the mixture.
- Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until the cakes are a light golden colour and just firm enough to the touch. Turn out the sponges on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the fudge by heating the butter, cream and sugar in a medium pan over a low heat. Stir frequently until the butter has melted. Increase the heat a little and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the mixture from catching.
- Remove from the heat and stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Leave to cool, stirring gently occasionally. It will gradually thicken and is ready to use once it has become spreadable (You may need to put it in the fridge for a few minutes).
- Spread the fudge evenly on to each cake, swirling the fudge on the top cake with the back of a spoon or round bladed knife. Arrange the thinly sliced banana slices on top of the fudge on the bottom cake before sandwiching the two cakes together.
- Store in an airtight container for up to four days.