12 October 2013

How NOT to bake a cake...

You know those blog posts you read "Here's the cake I made" followed by wonderful magazine worthy photos...
well this isn't one of them ! 

This is a... "I fancy making a cake what have I got in the cupboard post?"
actually it was instigated by the fact there were four black bananas staring at me accusingly.

So while rifling through my ripped out magazine pages of things to make looking for the banana bread recipe, I came across - 'Banana, rum and walnut tea loaf' - that'll do!

After a cursory glance through it looked like I had most of the ingredients,
anyway I thought, I can wing the rest.

                    Ingredients                                What I actually had and used
150g / 5oz stoned dates roughly chopped -                               how about sultanas
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon -                                              lemon
1tsp bicarbonate of soda -                                            no but I have got baking powder wonder if it's the same?
2 medium bananas lightly mashed with a fork -                                    oh yeah!
1tbsp dark rum -                                                                              1tbsp dark rum
75g / 3oz butter -                                                                            75g / 3oz butter
50g / 2oz dark brown sugar -                                                   50g / 2oz dark brown sugar
170g tube Carnation condensed milk -                   what the hell is that!? how about 170g semi-skimmed milk
2 large eggs beaten -                                                                  2 medium eggs beaten
225g / 8oz self-raising flour -                                                        225g / 8oz self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder -                                                                  1tsp baking powder
100g / 4oz walnut pieces -                                                        100g / 4oz walnut pieces

1. preheat oven to 170C / 325F / gas mark 3 - OK... where's the fan oven temperature? google search = 140
2. grease and line the base of a 900g / 2lb loaf tin - what size is my tin? luckily somebody had already asked that exact question on google here explaining UK and US sizes.
3. place in small bowl - dates + lemon juice + zest + bicarbonate of soda + 2tbsp boiling water, stir well and leave to cool - I don't think I should have put baking powder in here as a replacement as everything went fizzy!
4. add bananas and rum.
5. in a large bowl whisk together the butter + sugar + condensed milk until smooth - it wouldn't go smooth! 
6. gradually mix in the eggs then the banana rum and date mixture - at this stage it looked like somebody had 'thrown up' into the bowl! ( aren't you glad there aren't any photos of this?)
7. sift over flour + baking powder + mix in - at this point I'm seriously considering whether to add my lovely 'Doves Farm Organic Flour' or throw the whole lot in the bin, and hey, I've already added baking powder, so probably better not add any more.
8.reserve a small handful of walnuts + stir the remainder into the mixture.
9. slop transfer the cake mix to the prepared tin, sprinkle over the remaining walnuts.
10. bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean - go and watch television and 15 minutes after the finish time have your husband casually mention "wasn't that cake supposed to have come out at eight?"

11. leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

So... the finished cake

not bad actually, very moist, think I'd leave out the rum next time and definitely make it a 4 banana loaf. 

this - 'not worthy of a magazine' post brought to you by... 
Lucy photo - unknown / badges - kohaku 16 / cat - unknown / hand - altered illustration originally by  Matt Adore /  girl in cooks hat - altered illustration originally by Hilary Knight 1960


  1. Goodness! Is that Lucille Ball at the top....
    Remember 'I Love Lucy'. Started in 1951. Brilliant....Laugh! :).

    Love the pussy cat picture...HeHe!

    What else was there.....Oh! Yeah! The cake! Nearly forgot....:>).
    I-LOVE-CAKE~~~~Although a 'brilliant' cook....I don't do cakes!
    More savoury things really.....But, l certainly enjoy it, when baked
    for me!
    If yer gonna leave the rum out next time....Pour brandy over it, and
    set fire to it......Poof! (Sorry). :=).

    1. sweetie you don't need to sign yourself poof next time... 'just William' will do har har

  2. Brilliant! That is exactly how I make cakes....and your end result looks the same....and is probably delicious! Lizzie x

  3. Yum yum...piggy's b..!!

    you know what? re our conversation by email I think you need to change the template keep the simple but not the background have you tried it yet? just checking back!!
    bestest as ever Daisy xxxxx

  4. Looks delicious to me, a happy accident!

  5. Ha Ha! I did the same thing today. After what seems like several lifetime's of making cakes for 2 husbands & 4 kids, I gave up bothering to bake a few years ago. Today guests were arriving at any minute & I thought - I'll do it!
    Wholemeal flour instead of white
    Caraway seeds instead of anise,
    Double the quantity of ground almonds.
    Ooops, forgot the sultanas so dug out raisins from a bag of fruit and nut mix
    One lemon instead of two
    Two large eggs not two small ones
    A few ancient eating apples
    No ingredients weighed - more interested in talking than mixing.
    Result - gorgeous - everyone loved it!

  6. Now that sounds like a really tasty cake, we might have to put together an 'anti cook book'.

  7. Ha Ha ! great post, you made me smile, it could have been me, I am a hopeless baker. My efforts usually look only good for hand to hand combat. Your cake on the other hand looked good to eat !

    1. Thank you, it wasn't bad, unfortunately Iv'e been the only person here since making it and it's languishing in the fridge still, as although I've stuffed myself silly with it, it doesn't seem to be getting any smaller, in fact it looks the same size, a bit worrying, perhaps I've solved the worlds food shortage problem...

  8. My simple solution for old bananas: Spice cake mix. I buy a mix with 3 eggs needed (keeps it from going flat), reduce the amount of water by putting the bananas in a measuring cup and then measuring the water. I also mix the bananas, water, eggs and oil in the blender to make it super frothy, then add to the mix. Yummy every time!
    Your cake looks good though, despite all your changes.


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