Banana and pineapple cake

Banana and pineapple cake

Banana and pineapple cake

This has to be my favourite cake of all time! It’s wonderfully simple and fruity, with a soft, moist texture and hints of cinnamon. Ideal if you have a bunch of bananas which are starting to go soft.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the oil, pineapple, vanilla, eggs, and banana.
  4. Mix by hand until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased and floured tin.
  6. Bake for 1hr 30. Set aside to cool.
  7. When cooled, dust with a light layer of icing sugar.

Treat yourself…!

Photo: Jen Steele

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Pancake day

Pancakes

Pancakes

Lent is supposed to be a time of abstinence. A time when we give up luxury and over-indulgence for a simpler, more meagre way of life.

Unfortunately, instead of encouraging me to empty my cupboards of all sugary and fatty foods, Shrove Tuesday just reminds me of how much I like pancakes..!

Every year, when tucking into sugar-sprinkled, lemon-drizzled pancakes, I ponder why I only make them on this one, isolated day of the calendar.

The Americans enjoy piles of syrup-coated pancakes for breakfast. The French tuck into freshly made crepes on the streets on Paris. So this Lent, I plan to give up not eating pancakes…

Here are a few of my favourite pancake fillings:

1. Raspberries and blueberries

Feel better about yourself by offsetting the fat and grease with some healthy, fresh fruit! Just sprinkle the berries over the pancake and dust with icing sugar.

2. Banana and honey

A naturally sweet combination. Fold chopped banana into the pancake and drizzle with some runny honey. Tasty with a spoon of Greek yoghurt.

3. Pear and chocolate

Caramelise the pear in red wine and sugar and fold into the pancake before grating dark chocolate over the top. Deliciously self-indulgent.

4. Strawberries and maple syrup

Sweet and fruity. Chop fresh strawberries on to the pancake and drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy with a spoon of vanilla ice cream.

5. Lemon and sugar

The original and the best. It just can’t be beaten. And believe me, I’ve experimented. I’ve gone through the crazy days of banana and nutella, but I always come crawling back to the old favourite. Although controversially, I do quite like to add a squeeze of orange to the lemon juice.

Photo: Jessica Spengler