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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Chocolate and Banana Nut Cake

It was my birthday recently and, although I did have a beautiful Dundee Cake, made by my Mum, on my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a little indulgence and create my own cake.  

I had been sent a packet of cob nuts covered in Ghana milk chocolate by the lovely people at Potash Farm in Kent and decided to use them in a nutty, chocolatey delight.

Kentish cobnuts were favoured by the Victorians who enjoyed them as an after dinner accompaniment to vintage port. They have been grown around St Marys Platt in Kent since the early 1800s and by the turn of the century an estimated 7000 acres had been planted in orchards known locally as plats.  Cob nuts are available from Potash Farm in a variety of forms, but a lightly toasted nut enrobed in either single estate Ecuador plain or Ghana milk chocolate has to be one of the best.

Chocolate and Banana Nut Cake
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons hot milk
100g soft butter
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
225g spelt flour (or plain flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Chocolate Hazelnut spread 
45g chopped chocolate covered cob nuts (or hazelnuts)

1. Heat the oven to 180C.  Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.

2. Peel the bananas and mash them in a large bowl.  Dissolve the Chocolate Hazelnut spread in the hot milk, mixing until there are no lumps, then add the bicarbonate of soda.  Pour/spoon this mixture into the bowl with the bananas, then add all the other ingredients except the nuts, and beat well with hand mixer.

3. Chop the nuts roughly leaving good sized chunks, then fold them into the mixture.

4. Fill the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for about an hour.  It should be well risen and brown.  Test with a skewer and if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

5. Turn it out and remove the lining paper.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.  Once the cake is cool make the icing/frosting.  

For the icing/frosting
50g butter
1 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
3 tbsp milk
150g icing sugar sieved

To decorate
40g chocolate covered cob nuts or hazelnuts

Melt the butter in a small pan add the cocoa and the chocolate hazelnut spread, stir to blend and cook gently for 1 minute.  Stir in the milk and the icing sugar.  Take off the heat and mix well, then leave to cool, stirring occasionally until the icing thickens.

Spread the icing over the top of the loaf cake with a wet spatula, don't worry if it looks a little bit oily, it will settle as it sets.  

Chop the remaining cob nuts in half  and place onto the icing to ensure an even coverage.  Leave the cake for a couple of hours before cutting.

This cake was one of the best I've ever made, the texture is fine and it cuts beautifully.  The flavour of the chocolate hazelnut spread is subtle, the banana gives the cake moisture and the icing is just soooo good, the chocolate covered cob nuts really added a lovely crunch and creamy texture to the cake and the topping.  I can assure you that it didn't last long.

If you would like to buy some chocolate covered cob nuts (£6.50 for 120g) or any of the other products from Potash Farm use this code to get 10% discount on all products at Potash Farm: farmersgirl10

Free nationwide delivery direct from Potash Farm available. Order online from

Facts and figures about cobnuts
  • The official cobnut season starts on August 22nd, St Philibert’s Day
  • Cobnut pickers are called ‘nutters’
  • 6 cobnuts offer the equivalent iron and protein of ½ lb of red meat.  They are also high in calcium and vitamin A
  • The cobnut is a cultivated form of hazel. While the classic hazelnut is fingernail shaped, cobnuts are broader, longer and shaped more like a thumbnail.
  • Fresh and unprocessed, cobnuts can be eaten moist straight after picking in late August and September, when they have the texture of a sweet chestnut.
  • As they turn brown in the autumn, cob nuts dry out and the starch inside turns to sugar, they become much sweeter.

I'm entering my Chocolate and Banana Nut Cake for Bake of the Week at Casa Costello

I'm also entering this cake as my afternoon tea delight for The Great Denby Cake Off

And now for a new blogging event Cake Club at Kerry Cooks

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At 7 September 2014 at 07:40 , Anonymous Sarah James said...

Looks delicious Janice & belated birthday wishes. Hope you had a lovely day :-)

At 7 September 2014 at 08:23 , Blogger Unknown said...

happy birthday darling, truly looks like a gorgeous cake... love the addition of nutella in the icing, now THAT I must have a go at. love the gorgeous colour of the inside of the cake too, looks like velvet!

At 7 September 2014 at 11:43 , Blogger The Baking Explorer said...

The cake looks fantastic, what a perfect birthday treat! Happy birthday!

At 7 September 2014 at 12:21 , Blogger Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Happy belated birthday Janice! What a lovely sounding cake and a great use of those Kentish cobnuts

At 7 September 2014 at 16:57 , Blogger Hello said...

Happy belated birthday and your cake looks delicious :-) x

At 8 September 2014 at 09:42 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

I am sure I commented on this, although it may have been FB! LOL! I am so sorry I missed your birthday - which was when? So I can add it to my diary! LOVE the cake too.....a VERY happy belated birthday to you, Karen xxx

At 8 September 2014 at 20:20 , Blogger Lucy Bakingqueen74 said...

Your cake looks really tasty, happy birthday :)

At 9 September 2014 at 13:36 , Anonymous helen at Casa Costello said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday - I wish I liked bananas as your cake looks wonderful. Thanks loads for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek

At 10 September 2014 at 21:43 , Blogger Heidi Roberts said...

Hope you had a great birthday - that cake looks super!

At 18 September 2014 at 23:13 , Anonymous Fiver Feeds said...

Now that's one hell of a cake! Banana and chocolate, perfect combination!


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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