Like, I will only eat bananas if they’re green.
Once they’ve got a few brown spots on them, it’s over. There’s no way I’m going near them. They’re just way too mushy (but I’m cool with a green banana that’s been mashed. See how this is weird?).
So I made banana cake. And poured it into a bar pan.
Partly because I simply liked the idea of calling it a snack cake (Americans, what does that even mean?). And partly because I hate baking cakes in loaf pans for what feels like hours and hours on end while the base and sides burn and the center remains liquid.
Fun! Not fun.
So I slapped some on the cake batter and swirled it around with a knife. Amazing.
And pecans. I found a bag of pecans in the pantry too, but going back to my weird textures thing, I don’t like nuts in my cake. I don’t like chunks of things that don’t belong, interrupting the texture of good things. Does that make sense?
For example, I’m totally not into things like nuts or chocolate chips in ice cream. They just don’t belong there. Because the ice cream melts in your mouth, and then you’re left with these rock hard frozen chocolate chips or nuts.
Yuck. (I’m sorry if you are a chunk lover. I don’t mean to offend. They’re just not for me. And, like I said, I’m a bit weird, so don’t mind me.)
So it’s like a pecan-studded, Nutella-swirled cake (and I can pull out the pecans if necessary because they’re large and easily visible. Texture crisis averted).
Aaaaand this cake came out amazingly good. Moist, from all the bananas, and the fact that it’s baked in a bar pan. Then it has thick, chocolatey, Nutella swirls and random crunchy, buttery roasted pecans… It’s great. And if that’s not enough for you, then drizzle it with some more Nutella.
So go and stock up on Nutella and pecans and bananas.
Let your bananas tease you for a week from your breakfast bar as they brown.
Then get baking. Yum.
150g unsalted butter, softened (5 1/2 oz)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholewheat plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 large, ripe bananas, roughly mashed
1/2 cup Nutella (8 tbsp)
1/2 cup pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 9 x 13 inch pan with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, beating well between each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon, both flours, the baking powder, soda and salt.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture in three lots, stirring until just combined between each addition.
Mix in the bananas.
Pour into the prepared pan and level out.
Drop tablespoons of Nutella around the cake randomly and swirl in roughly with a knife, so there is a bit of Nutella everywhere. Scatter the pecans over the cake, pressing some in and leaving some on top.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a deep golden brown and when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Makes 20 squares.