Sticky Banana Ginger Bread
by eat in my kitchen
This cake was a little teaser and tested my nerves – I needed two attempts to bring it to perfection. The first version tasted divine but was far too soggy and didn’t bake through. We didn’t mind and still ate half of it. But it didn’t help, my pride as a baker made me go back to my kitchen and work on the texture.
Apart from its unsatisfyingly undone center, cake no. 1 had the advantage of the banana halves lying perfectly on top of the baked cake and the batter rising around it – quite dramatic. It was beautiful, but unfortunately, slightly burned as the temperature was too high from the start. Cake no. 2 decided to swallow the fruit and let it sink to the bottom. Not as pretty as the former but it had a scrumptious concentrated banana taste once you got to the sunken fruit. The cake itself was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s wonderful Fresh Gingerbread from her Domestic Goddess book, it’s a recipe I truly adore. However there isn’t much left of her original recipe, I only aimed for the stickiness, which she mastered to perfection. I added butter, more eggs and spices, and mashed bananas to my ginger bread. And some baking powder for more sponginess. After my disastrous first attempt, I decreased the amount of milk and turned down the heat. It looked completely different but tasted so, so good. The cakey bread (it’s actually more of a cake than bread) is infused with the honey-sweet aroma of bananas, lots of freshly grated ginger, and warming cinnamon. It’s so good that I forgave the bananas for their disappearing act.
Sticky Banana Ginger Bread
plain flour 260g / 2 cups
baking soda 1 teaspoon
baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon
butter, at room temperature, 120g / 1/2 cup
ripe bananas 3 (2 mashed bananas, about 180g / 6 1/2 ounces, and 1 cut in half lengthwise)
sugar beet syrup (or a mixture of molasses and corn syrup) 200g / 7 ounces
brown sugar 100g / 1/2 cup
freshly grated ginger 1 heaping tablespoon
ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons
organic eggs 3
milk 60ml / 1/4 cup
Preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F (preferably convection setting). Line a 11 x 26 cm / 4 x 10″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the mashed bananas, sugar beet syrup, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon and continue mixing until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. In batches, add the milk and the flour mixture, alternating, about 1/3 at a time. Mix until just combined and no more flour is left. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, lay the banana halves on top (cut side up), and bake for about 65-70 minutes (slightly longer if using a conventional oven) or until golden brown and firm on top. Insert a skewer, it should come out clean when the cake is done. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before you take it out of the pan. Let it cool on a wire rack for another 15 minutes before taking it out of the parchment paper.