Banana, Orange and Walnut Cake

Banana Orange and Walnut Cake

Banana, Orange and Walnut Cake

Banana cake is such a homely creation, most cooks find new ways to jazz up the traditional recipe, and this is my version.  The walnut is not just there for crunch, it has a great smokey flavour that permeates the cake with the addition of a little walnut oil – wonderful!

1 cup light brown sugar
165 grams butter or margarine
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons walnut oil (if you do not have walnut oil just add extra butter/margarine)
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 ½ cups self raising flour
1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt
150 grams toasted walnuts + extra for decorating the finished cake
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon each of grated nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 200°CBanana Orange and Walnut Cake

Cream the butter and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, then add maple syrup, walnut oil and eggs and combine well.
Add the spices and the yogurt, beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well combined and the spices evenly distributed.  Add the banana, orange juice and zest – the mixture will be fairly loose at this stage.
Add the baking powder, salt and almost all the walnuts to the flour then add the flour mix through the wet mix ensuring all ingredients are evenly combined.
Prepare a ring tin or generous cake tin by brushing it with melted butter.  Add the reserved walnuts to the base of the tin with a few tiny (pea sized) specks of butter, then pour in half the cake mix.  By adding this to the base of the tin you are assured of getting a smattering of crispy and sweet walnuts on the top of your cake.

Bake at 200°C for 35 minutes, allowing the outer surface of the cake to brown quite well – there is plenty of moisture in this cake and it can handle a little over cooking, so don’t panic!  Remove from the oven once a skewer can be removed cleanly. 

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and icing.

For the icing:
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup icing sugar
250 grams Philly cheese at room temperature
Juice and zest of an orange
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract)
Pinch of salt

In a small bowl whisk the cream cheese until smooth and light.  Add the icing sugar, maple syrup and orange zest and whisk together.
Add the salt and then the orange juice a little at a time, whisking constantly.  If the mix starts to get too wet stop adding the juice.  Taste, adjust if necessary.  Spread over the cooled cake using a palette knife dipped in hot water.  Press toasted walnuts into the cake, refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up the icing before serving.

This cake keeps well, however does need to be refrigerated due to the high moisture content.  Allow to come to room temperature when serving.