Spiced Banana, Dark Chocolate and Walnut Cake 

(Serves 8-10) 

My name is Sabrina Ghayour and I’m a cake-a-holic. My social media is littered with evidence of my love for all things cake yet I must confess, I wasn’t always the most confident baker. In fact, I spent much of the first 30 years of my life being absolutely petrified of baking as it just doesn’t allow for my own style of ‘bunging and chucking and winging it’ cooking. However, since I became a Chef, I asked myself “What kind of Chef can’t bake?” so I worked very hard to understand the basic principles of bread, cake, pastry and general baking and I now bake confidently without any drama (most of the time) This simple bake is a favourite as we all end up with soggy, limp, feeling-sorry-for-themselves-looking bananas and guess what? It’s those dark bad-boys that really do make the best cake! Being Iranian, I always have nuts knocking around the house (its virtually law in my culture) and I have learned to stock up on 70% dark chocolate for baking emergencies. Super simple but of course you can change up the flavours/ingredients as much as you wish!

Ingredients 

3 small-medium sized bananas

3 large eggs

225g caster sugar 

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon 

2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste 

225g self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 small teaspoons baking powder) 

225g butter (salted/unsalted, either is fine) 

50g-75g broken walnut pieces 

100g 70% dark chocolate, still in packet, bashed on a hard surface until turned to ‘rubble’ 

26cm rectangular ovenproof dish or a 22-24cm round spring mounted cake tin 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and line your baking vessel with some scrunched up oven paper, smoothed out to fit into corners/curves. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together. Then squish the bananas using your hands, straight into the mixture and use a fork to mash them as smooth as possible. 

Then add the flour and mix well, add the (cooled) melted butter and mix well into the ingredients a smooth batter is formed. Add the walnuts and lastly the dark chocolate rubble and combine until evenly incorporated.  

Pour the batter into the lined dish and bake the cake for about an hour (or more, if needed, as ovens vary greatly) Check to see if cake is cooked by inserting a skewer or small knife and if it comes out clean of batter, then job done. Allow the cake to cool and enjoy! I find this cake if wrapped in cling film and kept in an airtight container, lasts for 4 days easily… But in all honesty, I have never known cake to last that long with the hungry folk, in any house. It’s just what people have told me!