Short of time for a birthday cake decoration? I am sure you are all creative enough of course, but if you even have to whip up a cake last minute, here is a suggestion; whip out your needle and thread, cut out some bunting and you have yourself a focal point! The cake in this instance needed some…..beauty sleep perhaps, so it was a welcome distraction. But onto the banana/choc/caramel goodness!
Living in Uni Halls means that baking someone a birthday cake involves going extra mural; so pretty much it’s rare 🙂 Here you get a glimpse of the delicious cake amongst my clutter! I had to ice and assemble it on my desk and I ended up with a bit of caramel seeping onto it when I came back from dinner, so be warned!
It’s a really simple cake to make, only one bowl! And the icing is not buttercream, it’s an alternative that uses a roux and caster sugar to make a light, delicious frosting! Plus some caramel for the sake of it.
August always means a tonne of birthdays and a tonne of baking for me, so it’s nice to start the month of baking so early! Here is a not so great view of the top of it; last minute photo, sorry :S
Whole Wheat Banana, Chocolate and Caramel (Birthday) Cake!
Whole Wheat Banana Cake:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup any sugar
5 small-medium bananas, mashed well
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, lightly whisked
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
2&1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease two 20x20cm cake tins (or you can use 20 diameter round ones if you fancy!).
In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and baking soda, and sugar until combined. Make a well in the middle and pour in the banana, vanilla, eggs, oil and water. Mix the wet ingredients together then begin to include the dry ingredients, mixing until all combined. Pour evenly into the two tins and bake for about 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. The edges will be quite golden. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the caramel; in a small saucepan, heat the sugar until melted, then continue to heat until after a while (I stood at the pot for about 15 mins!) the sugar becomes golden and like caramel. Take off the heat for a moment and pour in the caramel, stirring like crazy. It will bubble up and splutter, but return it to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a container or bowl and leave to cool.
Now is also the time to make your roux; heat the milk and flour on low heat until the mixture has thickened; it will be a bit like cake batter. Quickly take off the heat so it doesn’t cook more and transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
When you are ready to ice and assemble the cake, make the frosting. Have your roux on hand, then in another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the sugar has dissolved (this took a good ten minutes for me). Mix in the cocoa until combined. Now mix in the roux and watch as the frosting becomes creamy and light! Keep beating until you have your nice fluffy frosting.
Level the top of the bottom layer of the cake. Spread on about 1/4 of the frosting and place the top layer on top. Spread a layer of frosting on the top, leaving some to pipe around the edges (if desired). Spoon the rest into a piping bag and make bit dots around the edge of the cake. The caramel will be suuuper sticky, so slowly drizzle and coax it around the edges of the cake. Arrange the banana chips as desired and done!
Store in a cool place so that the frosting doesn’t melt. This served about 15 people very comfortably!