This is a really delicious and simple cake: a dense, moist banana cake topped with a fudgey toffee icing. Try serving it warm for a classy dinner dessert or you could leave off the icing for a less rich afternoon tea treat. I made it to celebrate my brother's graduation, and it's another recipe I've adapted from the Primrose Bakery book. The cake went down a treat with everyone - I can't imagine anyone disliking it. Enjoy!
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas (preferably turning black), mashed with a fork
45g unsalted butter
5 tbsp milk
165g light, soft brown sugar
180g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
pecan nuts to decorate (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the sides and line the base of a 23cm cake tin (about 6cm deep).
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the beaten eggs, one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat again briefly. Gradually add the flour and the baking powder and beat yet again until well combined. Do the same with the bananas.
3. Pour the mixture into the tin, smoothing the top as best you can.
4. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out of the tin and peel off the baking paper from the base of the cake. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. When the cake is completely cool, make the caramel icing:
Combine the butter, milk and brown sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and put on the hob over a high heat. Stirring continuously, bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and stir in half of the icing sugar.
Allow the mixture to cool for a minute or two more, then add the rest of the icing sugar and the vanilla extract and stir until it thickens to the desired consistency - don't let it get too thick as it will be hard to spread, but if needs be just soften it in the microwave for a few seconds.