We welcome Aberdeen food blogger, Florence Stanton of Tasting Thyme, this week as she kicks off her new monthly recipe series.
Working in communications for an oil and gas firm in Aberdeen, the keen baker and cook will be sharing one of her favourite recipes every month to inspire our readers and tantalise your tastebuds.
At 24, Florence started her baking Instagram page in June last year as a bit of fun during lockdown as she wasn’t commuting anymore and had extra time during her lunch break. She started her blog in January this year to document all of her recipes.
She said: “I have always been a lover of baking, having grown up with a mum who enjoyed baking (profiteroles and sticky toffee pudding being her go-to bakes). Being one of four daughters, we’d occasionally hang about in the kitchen to get our hands on a bowl to lick, or random offcuts of pastry.
“I took part in the odd school bake sale but I was never really into baking the way I am now. Throughout university and for a small while after, I pretty much stopped baking as I went through a rough patch where I really struggled with my relationship with food. Knowing this wasn’t healthy, I knew something had to change.
“So when I started my graduate job, I started getting back into the kitchen again, making real food, comforting dinners for myself and baked goods for the office. When I realised I was actually pretty good at baking, I started making it a weekly thing.
“Lockdown was when the Instagram idea came up and 10 months on, it has been so exciting to see the growth and the community I have around me.”
Florence’s first bake in her new monthly Tasting Thyme series is this delicious banoffee fudge loaf cake, which takes a humble banana bread and makes it into a showstopper.
Partner banoffee pie ingredients with a banana cake to create this nostalgic bake. The loaf is topped with caramel buttercream and chunks of fudge and is ideal to make for gathering with friends.
As with any of her recipes, the ingredients are simple and you’ll be able to find everything in your local supermarket or your store cupboard. The cake itself can be made in one bowl, then it’s a simple buttercream to go on top. It will take just over an hour from start to finish to make.
A couple of tips to nail this recipe:
- Bananas: Use the ripest you can find, even to the point of being entirely black – these are the sweetest!
- Moisture: It is crucial to a good banana loaf and the moisture here comes from milk, oil, eggs and butter. It may seem a lot, but it is needed.
- Mixing: An electric/stand mixer may overmix the batter, making it dense and dry. Stick to a wooden spoon/handheld whisk.
- Cooling: Ensure your cake is entirely cooled before adding the buttercream or you may find it melts and drips down the sides!
Banoffee Fudge Loaf Cake
(Makes 10 slices)
- 3 medium ripe bananas (or 2 large)
- 110g unsalted butter, melted
- 75g light brown sugar
- 50g granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp caramel (e.g. from a tin of Carnation caramel)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 55g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 110g caramel (e.g. from a tin of Carnation caramel)
- 300g icing sugar
- 1/2 banana, slices
- 50g fudge pieces
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Line a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Then add the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, caramel and egg (ensure the butter has cooled a little so the egg doesn’t cook). Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and a little salt. Stir until just combined. The batter should be loose but not runny.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, make the buttercream. Add the butter to a large bowl/the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high until softened. Add the caramel and half of the icing sugar. Keep whipping until the icing sugar has entirely combined before adding the rest. Ensure the consistency is thick enough to stick to a spoon when held up.
- Spread the buttercream over the cake and top with sliced bananas and the fudge pieces (and anything else that takes your fancy).