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Banana & Walnut Cake

This is a really easy cake to make, originally from Nigella with a few tweaks of our own. Take care with the sizes of the bowls as you add the dry ingredients to the wet - not the other way round! This is so popular with our retreat guests that we usually make double quantities every time - and it freezes really well.


100 grams sultanas

75 millilitres dark rum (or Whisky will do)

175 grams plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

125 grams unsalted butter (melted)

150 grams caster sugar

2 large eggs

4 very ripe bananas (mashed)

60 grams chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Put the sultanas and rum or whisky in a small saucepan and bring a light simmer.

Remove from the heat, cover and leave for a while, until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric hand blender if you have one, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (or two loaf tins in our case!) and bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.

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