Banana and carrot? To me, that sounds like an unlikely partnership but of course that was before I ate this cake. I was itching to bake something when I saw this recipe in the book Blend It Well, Bake It Right by Chef KS Lee.
It so happened that I had some ripe bananas and two carrots in the fridge. The other ingredients were pretty basic, just sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder. And what I like is that there is no frosting for this cake.
I am always nervous when I try a new cake because the baking time is a headache for me. The recipe says 170C for 45 minutes but my oven can only handle cakes at 160C max. Another headache is sugar, to follow the recipe or to reduce. I am still a long way from being good at baking.
I did change the recipe just a little bit. The recipe called for margarine, but I am not keen on margarine. It will always be butter for me. I had an opened block of butter in the fridge and it weighed 200g, just 20g above the amount called for in the recipe. Not wanting to cut off 20g and stashing such a small piece of butter in the fridge, I used the whole lot. I also decided to add 1/2 a cup of raisins.
The recipe called for all the batter ingredients (except the carrots and bananas) to be whipped at high speed till smooth. I was scared of doing that so I stuck to the usual creaming of butter and sugar first before adding eggs and flour. I am such a coward when it comes to baking :)
Everything seemed to come along fine with the mixing of the batter. It took me quite a while to fold in the carrots, bananas and raisins. My oven was ready but I was still folding the batter. My auntie told me not to leave the oven on preheat for too long because the oven would become too hot. So I hurried up to pour the batter into the pan.
Then I quickly peeled a banana, sliced it and hastily arranged the banana slices on top of the cake. Because I was in a hurry, the arrangement was lopsided and not in a nice circle :(
I set the oven for 50 minutes but at the end of the baking time, the center of the cake was still wobbly but the top was already brown. I had no choice but to tent the cake and bake at 150C for another 10 minutes. Luckily, the cake turned out alright. I noted that the cake in the book has a shiny surface but no mention was made about glazing the cake. Perhaps it was done for photography purposes.
I read somewhere that jam is used as a glaze. So I heated up 2 tablespoons of peach jam and when the cake was cool enough, I happily glazed the top. I only tasted the cake the next day. I was very pleased because the cake was delicious. I felt that there wasn't enough carrots and bananas and I am thinking of adding more when I next bake this cake. I would also reduce the sugar as my partner found the cake a bit too sweet and so did I.
This cake is a keeper and I am very happy that I baked it. I exercised great restrain because I had only one slice. I wanted another slice very badly but I quickly packed up the rest to give away. My mum is right about baking - it is not a good hobby if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight!
Banana Carrot Cake
Recipe source : Blend It Well, Bake It Right (Page 35)
(My notes and adaptations in red)
- 180g margarine (I used 200g butter)
- 150g sugar (to reduce to 140g in future)
- 4 eggs
- 260g plain flour (I used self-raising)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (I omitted)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 100g carrots (shredded)
- 100g mashed bananas
- 1 banana (sliced thinly for decoration)
- 1/2 cup raisins (my addition)
1. Combine all ingredients A in a mixing bowl and whip at high speed until smooth (I creamed the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then added the eggs one by one. Then I folded the flour and cinnamon powder in).
2. Add ingredients B (except for banana slices) and mix well.
3. Pour batter into a lined baking mould. Arrange banana slices on top. (I used an 8" round pan).
4. Place in preheated oven and bake at 170C for 45 minutes until cooked. (I baked at 160C at 50 minutes and had to increase baking time for another 10 minutes at 150C).
5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes and unmould.