I am a huge fan of the lovely Eric Lanlard. He's a French Master Patissiere who is once again is gracing our TV screens with his Channel 4 series "Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard". The series is broadcast each weekday on Channel 4 around lunchtime, but you can catch up on 4OD. Each episode features two of Eric's easy to follow recipes and a bake off between three members of the public who are enthusiastic baker and want to show off their baking skills to Eric and the nation. The winner of the bake off then gets to create a delicious dish with Eric in a Masterclass session.
The series is sponsored by BakingMad.com who offered me the ingredients to bake one of the recipes from the series. After much deliberation, I decided to bake the Best Banana Cake recipe. I also have my own recipe for a rather nice banana cake and I wanted to compare the two.
Here's Eric's recipe:
125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g dark muscovado sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150ml whole milk
3 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp poppy seeds
75g golden sultanas
For the topping:
300g golden icing sugar
Handful of banana chips
Preheat the oven 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 25 x 11cm loaf tin with a little butter.
Using an electric hand whisk, cream the the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, beating until pale and fluffy. Add one of the eggs and beat in well, then add the second and continue to beat well. Sieve in half the flour with the baking powder and mix well. Then mix in the milk and the remaining four.
Fold the mashed bananas into the mixture along with the vanilla extract, poppy seeds and golden sultanas. Then tip the mixture into the loaf tin and level to the top with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 1 hour until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and not sticky. Cover the top with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before turning out.
For the topping, cream the butter until soft then sieve in the icing sugar and whisk using an electric hand whisk, mixing together until creamy and fluffy. Spread over the cooled cake, decorate with the banana chips and dust with icing sugar.
So how did I get on?
The recipe is really straight forward and the result was a delicious, moist and decadent banana cake. I left out the sultanas and poppy seeds as my hubby was chief taste tester and he strongly suggested that he would much prefer to taste the cake without the extras. I also didn't faff about with the banana chips on top of the cake either.
Here's the delicious cake:
After making my family wait until the cake was cool and had been iced, we enthusiastically devoured a slice each. We all agreed that Eric's recipe, using dark muscovado sugar, was rich and flavoursome and a great teatime treat. All of my family said that as an occasional change from my banana cake it would be most welcome, although it was a little bit rich for my eldest daughters taste. I would probably alternate baking Eric's version and my version when I'm baking for lunchboxes or afternoon tea. The only criticism was that there wasn't really enough of the cake for seconds, perhaps I shall make two cakes next time. LOL