Mma Ramotswe’s Banana Cake

A moist and more-ish cake that’s also low fat.

This week’s baking is fun – it’s themed and it has a literary reference!

Botswana’s Independence Day is on the 30 September and to celebrate I am baking a banana cake recipe from Mma Ramotswe’s Cookbook: Nourishment for the Traditionally Built. Mma Precious Ramotswe is the main character from Alexander McCall Smith’s delightful book series The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency set in Botswana.

I have to admit I don’t particularly care for banana cake but it was either this or caramelised warthog kidneys. I just didn’t think that I would be able to source the key ingredient here in the ‘burbs in time, so maybe next year I’ll try the kidneys. Maybe.

The banana cake is hearty, honest eating although I think would really benefit from the addition of some mixed spice and walnuts. It is surprising moist despite not containing any butter or oil. Since it is low fat you can justify to yourself that it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in your favourite spread, such as butter; butter and jam; butter and maple syrup; peanut butter and honey; sliced banana; Nutella; or chutney even. Who knows, it may even taste nice with caramelised warthog kidneys! Just don’t forget to brew a strong cup of bush/ rooibos tea to enjoy with the cake.

What would you serve with this cake?

Motholeli’s Disappearing Banana Cake

3 large ripe bananas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
175g/6oz caster sugar
225g/8oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
Demerara sugar, to sprinkle on top

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease or line a loaf tin.
2. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Mix in the beaten eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the caster sugar, flour, salt and bi-carb.
4. Add the banana mix to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
5. Pour into a loaf tin and sprinkle the top with demerara sugar.
6. Bake for approx 1 hour.
7. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.
8. Cut into slices and serve warm


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