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Fit for a fairy princess

Banana and pecan nut cake

Between the sparkly covers of Christin Geweke’s Fairytale Baking are to be found not just recipes of sweet treats but re-tellings of old tales. This tempting cake comes under the Hansel and Gretel chapter title . . .

Banana and pecan nut cake

Makes one 25 cm loaf

INGREDIENTS:

3 very ripe bananas, about 350g, peeled

150g butter, softened

185g sugar

3 eggs

100ml coconut milk

280g plain flour

½ cup (50g) ground hazelnuts

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup (100g) pecan nuts, finely chopped

Also:

Butter, for greasing

Flour, for dusting

150g milk cooking chocolate

1–2 tsp sugar

1½ tbsp boiling water

½ cup (50g) pecan nuts, coarsely chopped

1 handful banana chips

2 tsp shredded coconut

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 25cm loaf tin and dust with flour. Invert and tap lightly to get rid of excess flour.

2. Finely mash the bananas with a fork. Whisk the butter and sugar until creamy, then gradually incorporate the eggs. Mix in the mashed banana and coconut milk. Combine the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and salt and quickly stir into the wet mixture. Fold in the chopped pecans and transfer the batter to the tin. Level the top.

3. Bake the cake for about 60–70 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Increase the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

4. For the topping, melt the chocolate, stirring continuously, in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Combine the sugar and boiling water in a bowl. Add the chopped nuts and toss. Transfer the nuts to the baking tray in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning once. Finely chop the banana chips and combine with the shredded coconut. Remove the cooled cake from its tin and place onto a serving plate. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts, chopped banana chips and grated coconut.

GOING NUTS: The banana and pecan nut cake features a topping of melted chocolate sprinkled with a mixture of toasted pecan nuts, chopped banana chips and grated coconut.
Christin Geweke is a freelance cookbook editor, writer and passionate baker.
Fairytale Baking by Christin Geweke Photography by Yelda Yilmaz Published by Murdoch Books RRP $45