The last month has been pretty hectic and busy, and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to post! Luckily with work, I get to travel loads, and so my latest adventure was VANCOUVER! I’ve never been to North America before and as a child one of the things I wanted to do so badly was to go to Canada. Seeing Canada on TV shows growing it, it was always, snow, huge trees, mountains, pure bliss, a completely different world to what I had always know in the UK – so when work asked me if I wanted to go to Vancouver to get some training, I’d have been a fool to say no! I was lucky in that the day I arrive, Canada had come third in the Winter Olympics, so the atmosphere was great and on a walk around town when I arrived I stumbled across the Olympic torch which was lit, it was incredible to see!
I’m quite heart broken to have left, I loved it, saying that is an understatement! I really had the best time! For a lover of the outdoors and the city, I’m not sure there is anywhere else in the world where I could get my fix in for my love of water, mountains, forests and city life (with excellent cocktails with sweets in them!), literally nowhere. Everything is so close to each other, I couldn’t ever imagine being stuck for things to do out there, and I most certainly wasn’t for the week I was there, and yes, I was there for work, but luckily I had two days to play tourist, so I jam packed as much as I could in!
The lady training us and I, spent the day being tourists and it was great, we went to Capliano Suspension Bridge and crossed huge gut wrenching valleys, and then up to Grouse Mountain where we did some ziplining across mountains, the biggest adrenaline rush and then snow snoeing basically through Narnia, might have been the best/most awe-y weekend I’ve had!
So fun in Vancouver and having a week working from home in London, meant I’ve been quite pressed with time to get a bake on! Now, with the weather being great the weekend gone, I felt inspired for a light cake, some that makes me feel like summer, something that makes me full of joy for the months to come, and so I decided to make something with passion fruit and as I was scrawling the internet I saw combinations of banana cake and passion fruit, at first I thought surely not, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the combination and decided it was a must.
aaaaand OH MY GOSH. This might be THE best cake I have made to-date. The flavour combination is beautiful, it is just a light, fluffy, summery kind of happiness in a cake, the kind of cake that makes you feel good about cake, no guilt, alllll goooood. I brought the cake into work, and by 3pm, it was all gone, much to the despair of my other half who was expecting a piece and I had to break it to him on the phone that I didn’t get back into the kitchen in time to save the final piece, the silence, followed by, “oh”. However I’m sure some day he’ll get a piece, as this will most certainly be a cake cropping up, especially as the warmer months come in, it’s a great light cake I can just see myself eating with my feet up getting a tan.
Now I have a little trick to show you – Banana cake is one of my favourite cakes and sometimes you just don’t have ripe bananas around so check out my How To Ripen Bananas In An Hour post to speed up the ripening process of your bananas, perfect for using on the day, no more waiting!
Banana and Passionfruit Cake
A summery delight this banana and passionfruit cake is packed full of flavours reminiscent of summer
- 500 g sugar
- 500 g plain flour sifted
- 250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 250 ml buttermilk see note for alternatives
- 3 ripe medium bananas
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp vanilla bean, extract or paste
- 500 g icing sugar sifted
- 300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 200 g cream cheese full fat
- 6 passionfruits pulp
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/ 350°F. Line and grease two cake tins
Using a very large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, light and well combined, should take roughly 3 minutes
Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one by one, only add the next egg when the previous is fully combined
Lower the speed of the mixer and then add the banana and vanilla extract and beat until combined
In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together
Add half the dry ingredients & half the milk/buttermilk to the wet mixture, folding until just combined, then continue to add the dry mixture and milk/buttermilk in alternation
Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 50-65 minutes or until a skewer comes of clean
Once ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before removing onto a wire rack
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and cream cheese on a high speed until smooth, fluffy and combined
Add the passion fruit pulp - I strained the seeds out of the pulp and used the seeds to decorate the top as I love the crunch they give but wanted a smooth icing, I also only started with 3 passion fruits as I wanted to gage the taste as I go along, so I recommend the same
Add the lemon juice if you wish, if not, onto step 4
Reduce the mixer speed to a low speed and gradually start adding the icing sugar until it comes together, where you can crank up the speed to make it nice and fluffy
Now depending on how strong you want the passion fruit flavour, add more, or stick to what you've got, and add more icing sugar if you desire a thicker consistency - it's all about tweeking here and there to get the perfect icing for you
If you don't have buttermilk you can use milk with 2 tsp of lemon juice