Brown Butter Banana Sheet Cake with Salted Peanut Icing

Cakes

You can’t go wrong with banana and peanut butter, and as there are lots of families at home at the moment, I thought I’d  post a recipe which delivers on that flavour combination but is super simple to make and portion. I’ve added brown butter to the batter but you could just melt it normally, and feel free to substitute the spelt flour with plain (although spelt is actually all I could find in my local supermarket and works well in this recipe).

Ingredients (makes 10-12 good sized cake bars in a 7×10 inch tin)

  • 150g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 medium sized bananas (or 3 large), very ripe and roughly mashed up
  • 75g Greek yoghurt, full fat
  • 130g light brown soft sugar
  • 225g spelt flour
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt

Peanut Buttercream

  • 115g smooth peanut butter
  • 115g softened butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • pinch salt

Extras

  • Handful of salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Extra cinnamon, for sprinkling

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c. Grease and line a 7×10 inch high sided baking tin.
  2. Place the butter in a saucepan and gently melt, then turn up the heat and let it brown until it foams and smells nutty. Set aside to cool a little.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, mashed banana, yoghurt and sugar. Once the butter is lukewarm stir that in too. Briefly whisk the spelt flour, baking powder, spices and salt together in a separate bowl then add to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined then pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the peanut buttercream. To do this place the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) and mix with electric beaters (or the paddle attachment) until well combined and slightly whipped. Add the icing sugar and salt and briefly stir with a wooden spoon (to prevent a cloud of icing sugar), then return to beating on a high speed until you have a light and fluffy consistency.
  6. To assemble, take the cooled cake out of the tin and roughly ripple the buttercream all over the top. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and a little cinnamon. Slice up and serve.

Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Biscuits, Chocolate

Cookies are among my favourite things to eat, and they’re SO easy to make. My dark chocolate variety spiked with Cornish sea salt are a grown up alternative to the classic milk chocolate chip cookie and they have quickly become a firm favourite in my house…

To make the cookie dough you will need (makes 12 large cookies): 225g unsalted butter, 125g caster sugar, 175g dark brown soft sugar, 2 eggs, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2tsp cornish sea salt, 300g plain flour, 400g dark chocolate

For the chocolate finish you will need: 200g dark chocolate, sprinkling of cornish sea salt

Chop the chocolate into smallish pieces.

Cream together your butter and sugars with an electric whisk (or stand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat between each addition. To prevent curdling, add a little of the flour after each egg too.

Add the remaining flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and whisk again until a thick dough has formed and all the ingredients are incorporated.

Add the chopped chocolate and mix well with a wooden spoon to evenly disperse.

Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 10cm in diameter and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 180c and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper (you will need to batch cook these cookies as they spread).

Take your firmed cookie dough from the fridge and chop into discs (around 2cm thick). Place three on the baking sheets at a time and bake for 12-15 minutes until they have a cracked appearance but are still soft in the middle (this means your cookies will be chewy!).

Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and once baked leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the finish, melt 200g dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside and leave to cool slightly.

Once slightly cooled dip your cookies in the chocolate (over about 1/3 of the surface) and sprinkle with sea salt.

Leave to set (if you can!) and enjoy!