Monday, 11 July 2016

Summer baking for a baking Summer...

From mounds of warm, butter rich scones waiting to be adorned with jam and gold encrusted clotted cream at the end of a long summer’s day pottering in the garden, to towering sponge stacked masterpieces, dripping in chocolate ganache and crowned with a ruby red smattering of fragrant summer berries at the centre of a decadent afternoon tea; Summer cakes are simply the best.

Delicious Raspberry stuffed Vanilla bean Victoria Sponge

 From the rich, spiced gingerbreads and sticky toffees that weld themselves welcomingly to your ribs throughout those bitter winter months, the dawn of longer days and the sudden bounty of delicious, sun drenched produce means that baking in the summer is the stuff dreams are made of. Whether you plump for gooseberry studded cupcakes with creamy elderflower buttercream, brownies smattered with sharp, jammy raspberries or keep it simple with a Victoria sponge sandwiched with fresh strawberries and decorated with adorable edible flowers (have a google to be doubly sure you don't eat poison ivy...violas and pansies are my fleurs de jour); what better way than cake to use those glorious fruits that summer brings.

Mini Marzipan and Nectarine Bakewells

So, for no reason other than because cake is the sweetest, most luxurious and greatly appreciated platform for the best of the season’s ingredients; now is the time to get baking. From crushing those jewel hued raspberries into cheesecake swirled brownies, or perching a perfect, glistening strawberry a top a cloud of meringue and cream; get creative with anything you can get your hands on, you won’t regret it.

On this occasion, I fancied a totally tropical change from your standard strawberry adorned summer delight; this delicious, almost weather changing banana, coconut and rum loaf was the answer- to be honest, so full of sunshine was the flavour, I'm surprised I didn't get a tan just from the first bite. 

Crammed with coconut, dates, pecans and a good slug of dark rum, this is the very best way to use up those sun-browned bananas that lurk in the fruit bowl, long forgotten in the shadow of all those glorious summer fruits. After all, summer simply isn’t summer without a good slug of rum- Just remember to save a drop or two for a well earned mojito to reward all your hard work (read "hard work") slogging over a mixing bowl...

Boozy Banana and coconut loaf with a dark rum drizzle

120g butter, softened
150g light brown soft sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3 large ripe bananas, mashed 
230g plain flour 
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
120ml dark rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g dates, chopped
50g pecans, chopped
50g dessicated coconut
A small handful of banana chips
To decorate
100g Icing sugar
A few tablespoons dark rum

Preheat the oven to 180oc. Grease and line a large loaf tin

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, mixing well between additions.

Beat in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas until fully incorporated.

Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, coconut and salt, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the rum, pecans and chopped dates.

Spoon into the greased tin and scatter the banana chips over the top

Bake for around an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool
Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with a few tablespoons of rum, until you have a drizzleable icing. When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle over the icing and a sprinkling of coconut if desired.

Serve al fresco, maybe with that mojito on the side...

No comments:

Post a Comment