When Sam from Oh!Nuts contacted me a while ago and asked if I would like to pick a few of their products, I got excited. I mean, considering that I use nuts and dried fruit quite frequently in my recipes on this blog, I was thrilled with this offer and wrote back to Sam very grateful with a list of items. I got even more excited after looking over their website and realizing it is truly a bakers paradise. Any kind of nut or dried fruit you can think of, they have it. My selection was for dry roasted cashews, dried figs, and ground hazelnut meal. The latter got me the most excited. It is something that is readily available at any super market in Germany, but I can hardly get my hands on in the United States. I usually make do in recipes with other nuts that I tend to grind down myself, but the consistency or flavor isn't quite the same. I'm very grateful for the opportunity Oh!Nuts gave me, and also impressed with the quality of their products. I know I will be making purchases from them in the future.
I knew right away that I was going to use the hazelnut meal to make my mom's incredible Banana Cake. This banana cake recipe is by far the best recipe ever invented! I know, this is a strong statement, and maybe I'm just a teeny bit biased when it comes to this cake, but let me explain. I have been eating and baking this cake for as long as I can remember. When I was little, my mom would bake it for us, but as I grew older and was able to help in the kitchen, this was one of the first cakes my mom let me mix up by myself.
The measurements for this cake are mostly in metric. This is how I grew up baking, and I think it is actually a much more accurate way for measuring ingredients. To do so, you'll need a kitchen scale. If you don't own one already, I urge you to purchase one, since many recipes benefit from the use of it. They are pretty inexpensive, mine happens to be one of those kitchen tools that I use almost daily.
This cake is like the perfect marriage between a banana bread and chocolate cake. The flavor is amazing. The recipe makes for a cake that is incredibly moist, not too sweet, with an amazing banana flavor, and best of all glorious chocolate. The hazelnut meal adds a wonderful nutty taste without changing the texture of the cake. Even people who do nut care for nuts in their dessert have loved this cake. The batter is made quickly, especially if you go ahead and measure out your ingredients before starting. It is baked in a bundt cake pan that has been greased with butter, and instead of flouring, is "dusted" with sugar. This adds a wonderful crust to the baked product. I usually serve this cake as is, but if I have guests, the baked cake will get a simple dusting of powdered sugar prior to plating. No glazes or frosting required.
My kids beg me to bake this cake, and many times I will go ahead and end up freezing half of it for later use, which this cake does beautifully. This recipe has been in my family for probably 40 years, and is one of my most treasured recipes. I have not met anyone who didn't fall in love with this cake and requested the recipe. I hope you'll give it a try and end up loving it as much as we do!
Our Favorite Banana Cake
250 g unsalted Butter, at room temperature
200 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
3 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons dark rum or milk*
300 g all-purpose flour
30 g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
75 g ground hazelnut meal
2-3 tablespoons milk
200 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar (optional)
*I like the flavor the rum adds to the batter but if you don't use alcohol in your baking, milk will work as well
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a bundt cake pan with butter, then coat the pan in sugar. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer, preferable fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla sugar (if using) and beat for another minute. Add the eggs one by one; beating well after each addition.
Add the mashed bananas, dark rum (or milk), and combine. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled, it will come together once you add the rest of the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Add the flour mixture to the banana batter and with the mixer on low, mix until just combined. Scrape the sides. Add the hazelnut meal, and mix again, add 1 tablespoon milk at a time if the mixture is too thick. The finished batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove cake and set on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before inverting. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar, if desired.
Adapted from: "my mom"