Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Banana Jam Cake With Canola Oil

Banana jam & jam cake
On our recent trip to my hometown we came back with a lot of garden produce Among them were several bunches of bananas given by my husband's aunt. Although these were shared with others we still had about two more bunches that ripened at the same time. Not wanting to make another banana cake, I made a batch of banana jam. It made sense to bottle up memories of that trip in a concoction of sweetness and intense flavours. And not waste a single fruit even if all of them were blackened and looked more than ready to join their ever-rotting cousins in the compost pit. So with a bit of help from Ms. Google I settled for the easiest version. And that came to:
2 bunches of ripe bananas
Juice of 3 lemons
Cinnamon powder
Clove powder
Cardamom powder
Dark brown sugar
Banana jam
Banana jam
I got about 3 cups of mashed bananas to which I added a cup of sugar. This mix was put in a heavy-bottomed pan. The lemon juice and the spices were added and the mix was left to simmer for nearly 40 minutes. I kept stirring at regular intervals so that it wouldn't catch at the bottom. 
As for the spices, it was a quarter spoon of the clove and the cardamom and a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon. Once the mix looked "jammy" I put out the flame and left it to cool. Then it was transferred to a clean jar. Now that the jam was ready, I had to move on to the next step and that was baking a cake using the jam as a core ingredient. I decided on a cake and I wasn't disappointed. The best part was that all the ingredients were thrown in together in a large bowl and given a good mix. Then it was baked for about 45 minutes.

The jam cake:
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup banana jam
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs milk, optional 
Butter for greasing the tin (I used a bundt tin)
banana jam cake

Take all the wet ingredients together and give it a good mix. With the eggs, add one at a time and whisk till fully incorporated in the batter. Sieve the flour with the baking powder and fold into the mixture. Add the milk if you think the batter is too dry.
Transfer the batter to the tin and level the surface with a spatula. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let it cool down a bit and then remove from the tin.

The caramel sauce: (this a Donna Hay recipe)
3/4 cup brown sugar
250 ml cream
Place the sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir till the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer rapidly till the sauce thickens.
Remove, cool and drizzle over the cake.

As I type this not a crumb remains. I had gone to meet my mother (who is here for a health check-up), my sisters, nieces and nephew and they all loved the cake! It was soft and moist and delicious (their words) and I'm glad I baked it. No picture was taken of the sliced wedges but sometimes I think it doesn't matter at all!
The cake stand interestingly has the 60s Make love not war sign.  The stand is inscribed with these words---- Peace of cake!:) The beautiful yellow gerberas came from a friend's garden.
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