A twist on a baking classic, this moist and moreish banana cake contains cardamom, which enhances the fruit’s subtle sweetness
CARDAMOM BANANA CAKE
170g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
5 cardamom pods
4 ripe bananas, mashed
170g caster sugar
115g chopped walnuts
350g plain flour
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
23⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
icing sugar to serve (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160/350F and grease a nonstick 25cm square cake tin.
2 Crush the cardamom pods, removing the seeds and discarding the pods. Crush the seeds to release their flavour, add them to the mashed bananas, and set aside.
3 Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric handheld mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat.
4 Next, add the chopped walnuts and mashed banana and fold in. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt over the mixture and gently fold all the ingredients together.
5 Spoon the batter into the buttered cake tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.
Recipe from The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Salma Hage (Phaidon). Photography by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton