Hello! I’m deeply apologetic for disappearing into thin air again. My life can get very hectic at times and sometimes I find that it’s a struggle to feel in control of my daily schedule, and unfortunately, blogging is the first thing that has to go when this happens. :( But I find peace and quiet through writing, and I’ve love to write for as long as I can remember.
When my head is spinning like a top all day and I need a creative and soothing outlet, I resort to baking and cooking….the best cure for reducing stress! Although I have not cooked as often as I would have liked to, I mustered up the energy to make a banana nut cake a few night ago, or should I say a few wee hours in the morning ago. ;) It didn’t turn out exceptionally good, but it was heartfelt. I loved the serenity of standing alone in the kitchen late at night, stirring, mixing, and putting ingredients together. It was pure bliss and acts as a form of meditation to me.
Firstly, the ingredients….you’ll need
1/2 cup of margarine
1 cup of sugar ( I used brown cane sugar, because that’s what I had in the pantry)
1 tsp baking soda
4 small ripe bananas ( I used 3 medium sized bananas)
3 tbsp of water or milk ( I used soymilk because I didn’t have any milk)
2 cups flour (I used the Pillsbury flour but any all purpose flour will do)
1/2 cup of chopped nuts ( I used walnuts)
Get a big enough bowl and dollop the margarine and sugar into it. Stir vigorously to combine. I didn’t use a mixer because I wasn’t up for a midnight wash up session at the sink, but feel free to use one if you’d like, it also works perfectly fine without one, I was glad I got to work my muscles a bit. 🙂
Then you add the eggs, one at a time.
The batter will look more diluted after adding the eggs.
The next step is to add water/milk and mashed bananas into the mix.
Again, stir vigorously and work your arm muscles until you get to this consistency. The mix will now be thicker due to the milk and bananas, but you can’t actually see the texture here.
Next comes the flour, add it in and mix thoroughly.
And the last ingredient would be the chopped nuts, I’m using walnuts here, but I think chopped pecans will work nicely as well. Feel free to toast the nuts briefly before adding it into the batter. I didn’t toast the nuts because a) My stove is outside my house and b) I didn’t want to have to ward off wondering creatures aka dogs in the compound at 2am in the morning and awaken the deep slumbering of neighbors, which I’m quite sure they won’t be pleased.
I’m using a very small crockpot, so I had to make two batches.
A very important rule when cooking with a crockpot – never fill your pot to the brim, especially if you’re using it for baking, because remember, the flour/batter will expand as it cooks, and you have to leave enough room for the pot to do that, filling it up to a quarter or maximum to half would be ideal, because if not, you will end up with a 1/2 cooked cake/bread because it didn’t expand enough.
Line the pot with parchment paper/baking sheet/cookie sheet.
Slowly and neatly spoon batter into the pot without touching the sides of the pot.
Once that’s done, cut a square piece of aluminum foil, and cover the top of the pot before finally covering the pot with the crockpot cover. This is to prevent moisture from getting into the pot during the cooking time. If not, you will have a soggy cake with a soggy cake top. So by doing this, it works just like an oven in a way.
And this is ready to go into the crockpot.
Cooking time is approximately 2 hours, way longer than an oven of course, because it doesn’t have the various temps settings that an oven has. Cooking time also depends on the size of your crockpot, if you have a wide and deep pot, cooking time is probably less, but for baking purposed, it is advised to use a smaller top, because it is more likely to overcook the bottom of the cake due to it’s wide surface compared to a smaller and narrower crockpot.
After 2 hours, my house smelled like banana cake heaven. When I opened my crockpot lid, I discovered this gorgeous cake. You can see pieces of banana and nuts in the cake.
Let it cool for a few hours, then you can either store the whole cake in a container or cut it into slices before storing, ready to eat. It is delectable eaten with coffee or even with ice-cream. Another idea would be to make it into a banana chocolate cake, by cutting the cake into 1/2 horizontally, melt some dark chocolate chip, smear it on top of the halved cake, as though you are icing a cake, close the top with the other 1/2 of the cake and refrigerate. And there you have it, banana chocolate cake. 🙂
I’ll be experimenting wildly with this cake, and I will share the results. Cooking is an ever expanding adventure, and I’m enjoying it..clearly. 🙂