By Nigel Slater
From Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers
preparation time : Less than 30 mins
cooking time : 1 to 2 hours
Serves at least 8
Want to know how to use up overripe bananas?
Nigel Slater’s banana bread recipe is just the ticket.
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
- 175g/6oz sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
- 75g/2½oz hazelnuts
- 2 free-range eggs
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- 2 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
- drop vanilla extract
- 175g/6oz good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips
a little demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 12cm/8in x 5in loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter and sugars until light and coffee-coloured. This is best achieved in a food mixer.
- Toast the hazelnuts, rub them in a tea towel to remove their skins, then grind quite finely.
- Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
- Peel the bananas and chop them the small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract, the bananas and the chocolate chips into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to overmix.
- Scoop the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar. Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly.
By Nigella Lawson
From Nigella Kitchen
Preparation time : Less than 30 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins to 1 hour
For the carrot cake
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 medium carrots (approx. 200-250g/7-9oz)
- 75g/3oz golden sultanas
- 60ml/2¼fl oz rum
- 150g/5oz caster sugar
- 125ml/4½fl oz regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 free-range eggs
- 250g/9oz ground almonds
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg, or to taste
- ½ lemon, finely grated zest and juice
For the mascarpone cream (optional)
- 250g/9oz mascarpone
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- For the carrot cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm/9in round springform cake tin with re-usable non-stick silicone liner or baking parchment and grease the sides with olive oil.
- Toast the pine nuts by browning in a dry frying pan; the oven alone is not enough to scorch out the paleness. Set aside.
- Grate the carrots in a processor (for ease) or with a coarse grater, then sit them on a double layer of kitchen paper and wrap them, to soak up excess liquid. Set aside.
- Put the golden sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum, bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Whisk the sugar and oil until creamily and airily mixed.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs and, when well whisked, fold in the ground almonds, nutmeg, grated carrots, golden sultanas (with any rum that clings to them) and, finally, the lemon zest and juice.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very shallow in the tin.
- Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the cake and put it into the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the top is risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out sticky but more or less clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake sit in its tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then unspring and leave it on the rack to cool.
- For the mascarpone cream, mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar and rum.
- To serve, transfer the cake to a plate. Put the mascarpone cream in a bowl to spoon alongside the cake, for those who want.