After a very busy July, I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole work/life balance thing. Ask anyone you know how they’ve been and ‘busy’ or even ‘crazy busy’ seems to be the default answer. A badge of honour for the ambitious. I know it’s true for me!
We pack our schedules with work or self-imposed obligations, check our emails before we even get out of bed in the morning. We feel guilty, bored or useless in any moments of idleness. To me, finally being ‘busy’ came as a relief. I thought it meant that my business was growing and my services were beginning to be in demand.
I took every opportunity that came my way, worked around the clock and didn’t take a day off in months. I pushed aside the things I really loved to do – from reading to blogging – as less important. And then I wondered why I felt burned out and uninspired…
The more I tried to endlessly multi-task, the more scattered and forgetful I became. I saw a quote that really resonated with me.
“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still”.
Of course! Why do your best ideas always come just as you let go of your thoughts? When you’re in the shower, walking somewhere, mixing cake batter or about to fall asleep. Down time shouldn’t be a indulgence, it’s an absolute necessity to recharge creativity and inspiration!
I’ve gotta say, it was so nice to get back into the kitchen. Baking something felt amazing after throwing dinners together haphazardly and eating take out when I was too busy to cook.
A few overripe bananas in the fruit bowl were the inspiration for this cake. I caramelised them with brown sugar in the oven before adding them to the cake to really concentrate the flavour. I also added a big splash of spiced rum to the mixture for good measure. When the cake was cooked, I piled it high with more caramelised banana slices and oozy boozy salted caramel sauce. It looked and smelled incredible!
The cake itself is a winner, but the caramelised bananas and spiced rum gave it an extra dimension of flavour. It was super easy to make in the food processor with minimal washing up. I loved it served warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream. It’s the perfect comforting dessert on a chilly winter night!
Caramelised Banana and Rum Cake
A delicious Caramelised Banana and Rum Cake that is easy to make, warming and comforting for a winter’s day!
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and roughly sliced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 60 g salted butter, at room temperature
- 160 g 3/4 cup raw caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 ml buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons spiced rum, optional
- 112 g 3/4 cup self raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarb of soda
Caramelised Banana Garnish
- 1 banana, extra, to decorate
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a small bundt tin well with cooking spray. You can also use a 16cm round cake tin.
Place roughly sliced bananas onto a baking tray covered in non-stick paper, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes or until sugar has melted and bananas have started to dry. Be careful not to let the sugar burn.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the cooked bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla and process until well combined. Add buttermilk and rum and process again. Add the flour and bicarb and process again until just combined. Add mixture to prepared cake tin and tap on the benchtop to settle the mixture.
Bake until a skewer comes out clean (between 45-60 minutes). Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring the cake to a wire rack.
To make the caramelised bananas, slice banana evenly. In a non-stick frypan, add the brown sugar, water and rum and heat until sugar is melted and mixture starts to bubble. Add banana slices in an even layer and cook for about 5 minutes, turning to coat each side until covered in the caramel mixture. Remove from the pan with a spoon and arrange on top of cake in overlapping circles. Spoon any leftover caramel from the pan on top and sides of the cake. Serve warm or room temperature.