Thursday, 10 November 2011

The wonder cake which can cure all ills...

Surprisingly, there are few things in this world which are capable of riling me.  I appear to have used up my lifetime's supply of rage during my teenage years when absolutely EVERYTHING made me angry - going to school, having to cope with the horror of talking to my family,  waking up in the morning... you name it - I rolled my eyes and muttered about it.

At the grand old age of 31 (as of tomorrow, happy birthday me!) I'm a lot calmer.  But I've recently found the one thing (other than hunger) which is capable of balling up my zen and lobbing it out of the window: the wretched bike shed at work. 

It’s the stuff of Dante’s most hellish nightmares - I swear!  How infuriating can an area for storing your bike get I hear you ask?  VERY!!! 

Whichever fool built ours firstly made it impossible to open – they put the sensor on backwards so the only people able to gain entrance are professional safecrackers.  Then once you FINALLY manage to open the door (having generated a long queue of irritable colleagues) you have to try and wedge your bike through a door which isn’t even as wide as your bike!?  How could that not have been the single most important criteria for making said door?! 

Every! single! day! (Twice!!) I have to perform the bike shoe shuffle: left a bit... clang... forward a bit... clang...right a bit...ouch, there’s the peddle in the calf... back out... clang, clang... pick it up... run full pelt at the door, bike in hand hoping for the best... and... CLANNNGGGGGG - whoops there goes the handlebars, didn’t need them anyway... YES me and my newly crippled bike are OUT!! 

No wonder I get home every day craving some form of comfort food (read: cake).  I spent the first week in the new building alternatively swearing/stamping/threatening/reasoning/ranting even giggling hysterically trying to get through the hellish portal but to no avail – with a choice of regressing to teen angst or feeding the rage into submission guess which won out?  Cake is the only answer! 
I made this little beauty last week - I couldn’t help it!  I saw the recipe when it was posted on 101 cookbooks and gluttony took over.  This amount of mixture makes two small or one large cake (I made two - one of which was polished off still hot from the oven as an alternative lunch).  Chocolaty banana cake with lemon glaze?...ahhhhh – ten deep breaths and relax!!

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.  Grease and flour your cake tin of choice.

Sift together the flours, 125g muscovado sugar, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed.  Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes (or until golden brown).

Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Finish cooling the cake by removing from the tin and leaving to cool completely on the wire rack.

Make the glaze: Sift 85g of muscovado sugar and then whisk together with the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle/Spread over the cake once it has cooled completely.

125g plain flour
140g wholewheat flour
210g dark muscovado sugar (split – 125g for the cake and 85g for the glaze)
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
115g dark chocolate, cut to chunks
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
340g ripe bananas, mashed
60ml plain, full-fat yogurt
1tsp lemon zest, grated
1tsp vanilla extract
55g icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice

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