Banana Walnut Cake (with Coconut, Rum, Dates and Other Goodies)

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m leaving Zalandoand going to work at a new company. So, for my last day I decided to bake a little something: an experiment that started out as a banana walnut cake.

can you believe those are my fingers? french manicure - i'm becoming such a girl!

Here’s the recipe I snatched from or some similar site. I don’t even know why I bother with recipies, since I end up never following them.


Step 1: pre-heat the oven

Don’t forget to place the butter atop it to soften.

Step 2: mashing bananas

I started with some rotten bananas. I usually throw them in the freezer until I need them (I remember my German roommate asking me what bananas were doing in the freezer, explaining with a mixture of bewilderment and disgust that bananas go bad if you keep them in the fridge or freezer – haha!) then I let the frozen, brown bananas thaw for some hours (can also microwave them if need be). Slice open one end and squeeze out the contents – yes, this is totally gross but I swear rotten bananas taste way better than the yellow ones. Prove me wrong.

 Step 3: cream

Mash up the extremely ripe bananas with a fork, then cream the sugar, softened butter and two eggs with it. I don’t know why it’s called “creaming”, but just mix all the wet ingredients together.

Living somewhere between metric and British measurements, the only way I can keep them straight is my rule of thumb:
one shallow handfull = 1/2 cup

Step 4: the rest

I know my grandmother would freak out if she read this, but yes, I wash my dishes by hand and therefore am very economical about how much washing up I have to do. Throw the rest of the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix really well (if you want the baking soda to be very well mixed in, then put all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together, then add to the wet ingredients). I sprinkled some crushed walnuts in there, as well as dates and coconut and – during a last-minute impluse – a couple jiggers of rum. (I thought the dough was too dry and needed a little something.)

Step 5: the frosting

I mixed together the other half package of butter (softened, of course) with enough confectioner’s (or powerdered) sugar and coconut flakes to make it thick. I sprinkled in some fresh lemon juice, which in my opinion was a mistake. I should have stayed with the nice rum theme I had going on.

The finished banana coconut walnut rum date bread (though not necessarily in that order) baked in my grandmother's antique mini bread forms

My Changes to the Banana Walnut Cake Recipe

Are obviously numerous. Firstly, I forgot that I wasn’t to use ALL the bananas I’d thawed. So I put four into the dough and needed to therefore compensate for the over-moisture caused by the bananas with a bit more flour.

Secondly, I didn’t put in a cup and a half of sugar (which makes three shallow handfulls total), rather, a small cup. I knew it would be really sweet already with the bananas and dates.

I sprinkled in some vanilla flavouring because vanilla should be in every baked product. And the couple jiggers of rum was purely an impulse, but blended nicely with the bananas. I tossed in maybe a half cup of coconut in the dough (didn’t measure it before mixing it in, of course) and the same amount of walnuts and chopped, pitted dates.

Lol, you'd never believe that ca. 1,500 people work at Zalando when only 3 of my SEO buddies showed up for cake! (In my defense, we moved offices and are separated from the rest of our UK team.)

All in all, however, it was a success (for those who like it sweet).

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