April 4, 2019


We have returned to France for a while, and the other day I was looking lazily through some of the cook books that I keep here, each volume holding the promise of untried recipes and baking adventure.  One of them fell open at a recipe that had a lightly written note in pencil in the margin, in my own writing.  A light pencil note or carefully placed post-it is the limit of the vandalism I allow myself to do to my cook books and I recoil in horror at the way some people treat theirs, text crossed out or written over, page corners folded or stuck together with splatterings of cake mixture!
I looked at this recipe and it suddenly dawned on me that it was one of my "lost bakes".  In the past I would occasionally think to myself  "didn't I once make a golden syrup cake or did I dream it"?  Having found the proof that I probably did I then went hunting for the pictures and here they are, taken in March 2017.  I had made the cake and taken its picture but never got as far as writing about it, which is a shame because it was an excellent cake.  And with a few bananas ripening nicely in the fruit bowl I have a hankering to make it again, very soon.*
Apologies to all those who don't like cooked banana, but those who do should really make this cake.  The recipe was in one of my Rachel Allen books called "All things sweet" and sweet it certainly was.  Reminiscent of those Jamaican ginger and golden syrup cakes that you can buy in the shops, like a delicious combination of the two, but with banana as well.  What more could you want?!
Lately I have got into the habit of taking a photo of the recipe or the book at the same time as the cake, so that they can be paired up.  No more mystery photos and fewer forgotten posts from now on.  Well, probably!
*I made the cake again, one day after writing this post and it is truly yummy, very gingery, not overly bananary and a glorious golden colour.
110g softened butter
50g soft brown sugar
125g golden syrup
2 eggs
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tblsp ground ginger (6 tsp)
2 medium bananas, mashed
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk4.  Butter and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, or use a paper liner.
Cream the butter and sugar until soft then beat in the golden syrup.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  It doesn't matter if the mixture looks curdled.  Sift in the flour, baking powder and ginger and fold in. 
Add the mashed bananas and mix well together.  Pour into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until done.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cuts into 8-10 slices


  1. Definitely bookmarking this one to try, Jean, thanks! I'm a huge fan of banana loaves and golden syrup so I can see this being a big hit.

    Although I never write in my baking books (I'm a post-it person too) my favourite recipe pages are nearly always well splattered with cake batter!

    1. Jo, you would love this cake and it's a doddle to make!

  2. That's a lot of ginger and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love a ginger cake now but for years I avoided them because my mother used to buy cheap Jamaican ginger cakes when I was young that were heavy enough to use as doorstops. I'm definitely a post-it user when it comes to cook books except when there are misprints and mistakes in the recipes and I scribble angry notes on the page. I wish I could say that it was a rare occurrence.

  3. Why 2 different measures of ground ginger?

    1. Because you can't put a tablespoon into a jar of ginger to measure it. The teaspoons are the equivalent amount.