Entry 11: Happy Birthday Phil!

Hello again, Koala fans!

It was going to happen eventually. We all knew this was coming.

“You do that cooking blog thing, right? Can you make a birthday cake for someone?”

In this case, that “someone” was my brother-in-law Phil (and a big hello to him if he’s reading this!). Rather fortunately for me, the type of cake he wanted wasn’t the usual sponge cake with icing you need a chainsaw to get through. Instead, he was looking for a banana cake. I made a carrot cake about six months ago and it wasn’t particularly successful. I don’t know whether it just didn’t mix well or I over did something but it turned out more like carrot bread pudding than cake. Yuck. =/

The recipe I found today seemed fairly similar to the carrot cake one, so I was a little doubtful about how it would turn out:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6067/banana-cake-with-pecan-crumble-crunch

It did look very tasty though, so I figured it was worth a shot.

As usual, let’s say hello to our ingredients this week:

Not pictured - the birthday candles and the flamethrower required to light them all.

Not pictured – the birthday candles and the flamethrower required to light them all.

There’s also a tub of baking powder hidden behind the flour in that picture. So to get the ball rolling, we need to prepare the pecans:

The nuts were going bananas and vice versa.

The nuts were going bananas and vice versa.

 

The opening bit of the recipe is a little unclear. It talks about using 2 tbsp of flour, caster sugar and chopped pecans and I misread this as being “add ALL the pecans”. I didn’t actually realise this until this recipe asked for the leftover pecans to be added into the cake mix. Very annoying. So just to be clear:

* 2 tbsp of caster sugar

* 2 tbsp of flour

* 2 tbsp of chopped pecans

* 1 tbsp of butter

…although that said, you could probably get away with 3 tbsp of pecans if you wanted extra topping. It’s all good. I mixed those in a separate bowl and it’s a lot easier to use your hands for this bit than a spoon:

The pecan crumble topping. Sweet and nutty, much like the Koala in that regard.

The pecan crumble topping. Sweet and nutty, much like the Koala .

This recipe uses an awful lot of mixing bowls. You need one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients, another for whisking the eggs…

The Koala was feeling a little bowled over by the end of it all.

The Koala was feeling a little bowled over by the end of it all.

As with all the other cakes I’ve made on here, mixing is the difference between a great cake and an awful one. Fold in as much as you can by stirring in a figure of 8. It’s really, really important with this one because the wet ingredients are heavy and will sink to the bottom of the tin. So first off the banana mix joins the flour and sugar, then you mix them. Once you’ve done that, mix that with the eggs as well, figure-of-8ing all the way. Rather unusually, this one needs a lot longer in the oven than the other cakes I’ve made – this one needs an entire hour, but then comes out looking something like this:

"Happy birthday to meeee..."

The finished cake.

The cake went down really well with my brother in law and he was kind enough to let me try a slice “so I could comment about it on the blog”. Wink wink. As I suspected, the cake was slightly denser on the bottom, due to the weight of the banana mixture but much lighter and fluffier than the carrot cake I had before. It must have smelled fantastic because even the garden birds were coming inside:

"The hell with bird seed, I want birthday cake, damn it!"

“The hell with bird seed, I want birthday cake, damn it!”

 

Disclaimer: Koala In The Kitchen is not responsible or legally liable for any attacks by wild birds as a result of following this recipe.

One response to “Entry 11: Happy Birthday Phil!

  1. Rachel

    Hello! Phil loved the banana cake. One problem though; you do realise he is going to expect you to make it every birthday from now on? 😀
    Sis x

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