Everyone loves a slice of cake, or ‘just a slitherette’ as my mother would say. It’s always the right time for cake. With your flat white in the morning, after lunch, at tea time or, if you’re Nigella Lawson, at midnight fully made up in nothing but a black silk kimono, eating it with a cheeky wink to camera.
Cake has stood the test of time and it’s not going anywhere. With the rise of the Hummingbird Bakery, cakes and cupcakes are the avant garde thing to offer up at a baby shower, barmitzva, hen do and they’ll be gone before you can say jimminy cricket. Feeling frisky? You can even go to Cox and Cookies and pick up a boobie cake, yes boobie. Or for the ladies a white chocolate mould of a buff male torso atop your banoffee pie cupcake. Lush. A girl at my work once recieved a box of Hummingbird cupcakes from a secret admirer. She didn’t even know who he was but wanted to marry him instantly. I think I did too.
I’m currently working at Tom’s Deli in Notting Hill. As you enter the shop you are greeted by a glittering array of cakes. From brownies with white chocolate and raspberries to lemon, olive oil and rosemary cake (a personal favourite), earl grey cupcakes to a Curly Wurly inspired cake.
I can’t take the credit for this cake, as the recipe was invented by an entrepreneurial cake genius! He claimed he was the first to come up with the idea so indulged him in his cake dream and made it. He said it was the best cake he’d ever tasted. To be honest I think he was just trying to be nice, but I was still happy.
Chocolate, peanut butter and banana cake, topped with caramalised peanuts
I found this American recipe on line and it was pretty easy to follow
12oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or use chips)
1/2 cup plain peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas—the riper and syrupy-er, the better)
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” or 8” square baking pan and line with a long strip of parchment paper that covers the bottom and overhangs on both sides (this will help you pull the cake out once it’s ready.) Set aside.
Combine the chopped chocolate (or chips, if using), peanut butter, and olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the chocolate and peanut butter is melted and evenly combined. Pour into a large bowl and let cool for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the mashed bananas, followed by the eggs, one at a time until all three are fully incorporated into the mixture. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then stir into the wet batter until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until just set. A tester inserted into the center should come out a little bit fudgy, but not wet. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator to set. Once firm (about 20 minutes), cut into bars and serve. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired. (Can also be served warm.)
Easy caramalised peanuts
To make the caramalised peanuts put 140g of peanuts, 100g of sugar and 45ml of water in a pan on a medium heat. Keep stirring until you get a sandy consistensy. Turn in down and continue stirring until it turns a caramel brown, remove from the heat before it starts to smoke, place on a baking sheet to set and sprinkle on the cakes.