Can you believe that up until now I have never owned a bundt tin? I have always coveted one, but they are quite expensive (I want a Nordicware one…) so I have never been able to justify buying one. So I was rather pleased when a box full of baking goodies that I was sent to review happened to contain a bundt tin; it is not a Nordicware one, but a silicone, half size (6cup) tin. The size is actually perfect for me, as as beautiful as full size bundts are, they are rather large and make a bit too much cake for a family of two…
The box I was sent to review is called Bake Box, and is essentially a bakeware subscription box; every other month you will be sent a box containing 6-8 items of baking and decorating tools, and detailed recipe cards with ideas of how to use each item (you can also buy a one-off box as well rather than subscribing). Each box has a theme, with all of the items in the box relating to that theme – the one I was sent was called “Decorate With Spots And Stripes”, and other examples include “Springtime In Paris” and “Flower Power”. The items are mostly ones that are not widely available on the high street and each box appears to be quite varied, the recipes included are detailed and interesting and range from simple to challenging. The items are mostly made of silicone or plastic, with some metal cookie cutters, but they appear to be good quality and my cake certainly baked perfectly in the silicone bundt tin.
If you already own a vast collection of bakeware then this may not be the box for you, although despite being an avid baker myself I didn’t already own any of the items in the box I was sent, and the selection seems to be innovative enough that it wont contain any basic items that anyone who bakes regularly will already own. Subscribing to the box also gives you membership to Bake Club, which provides online video tutorials and recipes. If you want to build up your baking toolkit, expand your knowledge and skills and get creative with your baking then I think that Bake Box would be perfect for you; in my opinion it is a really fun and interesting subscription service and it would also make a great gift that is just a little bit different.
I was originally going to make one of the recipes included in the box for this post, but once I saw the bundt tin I just got it into my head that I wanted to make a banana bundt cake and it just so happened that I had a bunch of rapidly browning bananas in the fruit bowl… I couldn’t stop at plain banana cake though, no, I had to add rum and serve it smothered in caramel, and not just any caramel at that – banana rum caramel; that’s right, banana IN the caramel; instead of using cream in the caramel sauce I used pureed banana along with a generous knob of butter and a glug of rum. The caramel is an absolute revelation, intensely banana-ry (how do you spell that?) with a delicious caramel flavour and a hint of rum (which also helps to cut the sweetness a little), it is seriously addictive.
The cake itself is essentially banana bread – moist, dense and fragrant with a strong banana flavour and a hint of rum and nutmeg; when paired with the caramel it is almost otherworldly; this is a banana cake for true banana lovers, if you aren’t a fan then this is not the cake for you! This cake was so delicious that despite there being only two of us to eat it, it disappeared in less than two days…I think that might be a new record for cake consumption speed in our house (it was mostly me…). The recipe makes just enough caramel to pour over the cake, it you happen to have any left over then it will keep in the fridge for a few days and it is amazing on ice cream or pancakes (or have all three at once… Yes, definitely do that!), in fact you may want to double the recipe just in case…
- 175g (1 + ⅓ cup) plain flour
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 medium, very ripe bananas (about 180g peeled weight)
- 75g (2.5oz) natural yoghurt, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- 120g (1/2 cup) softened butter
- 150g (1/2 + ⅓ cup) light brown soft sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 tbsp dark rum for drizzling (optional)
- 1 medium, very ripe banana
- 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 2tbsp water
- 30g (2tbsp) butter
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a small bundt tin with melted butter, be generous and thorough, make sure that you get in all the grooves or it will be difficult to remove the cake from the tin.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside.
- Mash the bananas well then stir in the yoghurt, vanilla extract and rum, set aside.
- Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Fold in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the liquid ingredients, then another third of flour, the rest of the liquid then the remaining flour, don't overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin, level it and tap the tin on the counter a couple of times to burst any air bubbles.
- Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack, drizzle with the extra 2tbsp of rum if you like and leave to cool completely.
- To make the banana caramel, puree the banana until completely smooth, I used a stick blender to do this.
- Place the sugar and water in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally (don't stir), until the sugar has dissolved and turned amber. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and banana puree, the mixture will sputter; stir until the caramel is smooth, if there are any lumps of sugar you can return the pan to a low heat and stir constantly until they have dissolved.
- Allow the caramel to cool a little then add the rum and a pinch of salt to taste, pour into a jug and keep refrigerated until needed.
- When you are ready to serve, place the cake on a serving platter and re-heat the caramel until it is runny, pour the caramel all over the cake, making sure you get in all the grooves - enjoy!
- The cake will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days, beyond that I'm not sure as it disappeared so fast!
All the ingredients, including the yoghurt, should be at room temperature.
I was provided with some products to review but I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own
I am sharing this with Fiesta Friday hosted by The Frugal Hausfrau and Unwed Housewife, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Features, Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant,