BANANA YOGURT CAKE

[ezcol_1third] Banana cake for me is a bit like Proust's madeleine. There was one in particular that was a fixture of the time I spent as a child in the Caribbean but that recipe was lost many years ago. As an adult I've been trying to come up with the closest approximation to my memory of its pure perfection... and this banana yogurt cake really hit that spot

I thought it would be quite useful to share the recipe now because this cake is also a bit of a double duty wonder... It would be brilliant severed at a Mother's Day tea or given as an inexpensive but thoughtful home-made present for any mum in your life. I think loaves work particularly well as gifts because they can be so easily wrapped in grease-proof paper tied up with bakers twine plus they're unfussy to transport - there's nothing crumbly, gooey, or overly delicate to contend with here. This cake can also be sliced and frozen... which I imagine would come as heavenly news to any harried mother who could take great comfort in the knowledge that a beautiful treat to go with a much needed cup of tea needn't be more than a 30 second zap in the microwave away... once the kiddos are off to bed.

Banana Yogurt Cake Recipe

120g butter at room temperature 100g caster sugar 2 eggs at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla essence 2 very ripe bananas, mashed 200g sweetened, plain yogurt* 200g all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder extra butter for greasing tin

* I used Maleney apricot yogurt - it's our new favourite after dinner treat at the Cottage.

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease a loaf tin with a little butter  and set it aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. (You can use a wooden spoon, but it'll take a long while!) Add eggs one at time beating well after each addition.

3. Fold through the mashed bananas and yoghurt.

4. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold gently into the banana/yogurt mixture until just combined. Don't over mix. Sifting really is worthwhile here because it gets all the clumps out ahead of time so you don't have to overwork the batter.

5. Spoon the mixture into greased tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes in tin. After this time, gently turn the cake out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

6. Wrap up in grease proof paper tied with bakers twine to give as a gift or serve right away. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

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