Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Dan Lepard's Melted Butter Banana Cake

This is my second Dan Lepard recipe this week.  Don't pull me up for not being able to count because Saturday's Simple Wholemeal Loaf was Felicity Cloake's recipe and was merely inspired by Dan Lepard so that doesn't count.  Or at least it doesn't in my book.

Going against all my good willpower in my desperate attempt to fit into the lovely vintage dress I have snaffled from the LCC Photography wardrobe for my cousin's wedding in August, I made a cake late yesterday because I had a little bit of grovelling to do to my project manager (and more importantly mentor).  I'm only blogging about it today because I was waiting for the taste test verdict.  More on that later.

Why was I grovelling?  Well you know how sometimes you say something in an email that might have been a bit of jokey banter if you were sat in the same room together, but once you've hit Send, you suddenly think that maybe it wouldn't be construed as funny?  Well that happened yesterday.  I've known R for a while now and I think we just about get each other's weird sense of humour.  It certainly helps to relieve some of the frustration that work can entail.  But we've not quite hit that point where you can be totally assured that you haven't offended.

Luckily he replied quite quickly to the first email with an appropriate response so I happily went about the rest of my work day, happy in the knowledge that all was well.  However, a bit later, I got another email from him taking a bit of a dig at me.  And then he backed it up with an email asking if I knew he was only joking.  Which suddenly worried me that maybe my original dig had hurt.  So I then emailed and asked if he minded what I'd said.  He was fine with it - allegedly.  But that's the trouble with electronic communication.  It's so easily sent and without facial expressions and the inflection of voice, it can be taken totally out of context.

If you don't know me, you'd think that I can't stand my husband from some of the things I've shared on this blog.  Well you should read my diary!  (JOKE!!)  To me, and people who know me and hubs, some of the stories are funny.  I've recently come to realise though that someone who doesn't know me and happens across a single post from this blog without having read the rest of my missives might think "She is a right cow!".  Which could be true.  Sometimes I'm sure I can be.  And I know that very occasionally, I definitely am.  Nobody's perfect.

A very bare banana cake
Back in the days of pen and paper, nobody would have had the opportunity to read about my relentless year of recipe trying.  I might have kept a little diary with notes on the recipe and bits cut from magazines (assuming this scenario is pre-internet) but I certainly wouldn't have banged on about how fussy hubs can be.  Or if I did, the only people who would've read it would be me, and maybe Miss A when she discovered it years after I'd shuffled off from this mortal coil.

But there's something about electronic media that means that boundaries are sometimes misplaced and without a smile or a wink to back them up, people can see a seemingly innocuous joke as something that offends.  And if, heaven forbid, you put a comma in the wrong place, the entire context of that joke changes whereas if you were speaking out loud and laughing with someone, it would be (hopefully) appropriate.

Which brings me round to my bout of obsequiousness late last night and early this morning as I presented my super lovely, highly intellectual and all-round good-guy mentor with a beribboned box containing the aforementioned banana cake.  Despite having foisted baked goodies on him for weeks now, I've only just gotten the message that he's rather partial to fruit-based cakes so Dan's recent banana cake recipes fitted the bill really well.

I'd already picked the recipe when out of the blue I got an email from my mother saying she'd made both banana cakes on Monday and her work colleagues picked the butter one (the one I chose) as the favourite.  I was so happy to get that email as I've been pestering her for months to try out Dan's recipes and so far she's managed to resist.  But I think she was sold the other weekend when I made the Cinnamon Cake with Blackberries.  And her work colleagues coerced her into it by telling her not to keep showing them pictures of my baking and to take them some actual cake.  Whatever it was that got her to this point, I don't mind. But Dan has another fan.  I know she's going to be giving his bagels a go soon.  If she's lucky I might just buy her her own copy of Short and Sweet.

Finally onto the recipe.  It was really easy to make and perfect if, like me, you find yourself trying increasingly imaginative ways to soften butter when you've forgotten to take it out of the fridge hours before you're ready to bake because it uses melted butter.  I also love that it can be easily hand mixed so I got not argument from the husband about having the Kenwood on and actually, a bowl and wooden spoon can be flung in the dishwasher so it was even easier.

The batter tasted great and it baked well although mine took about fifteen minutes more than the recipe says but that's probably just my pants oven.  Sadly, due to a ridiculously long workshop, the cake was still sat in its red-ribboned box when I left work this evening.  I told R to not stand on ceremony and dive in after I left.  Whether he did or not, I'm not sure.  Because I got an email telling me that he'd chosen to eat the Flake I'd left on my desk instead.  Followed by another email with lots of 'Hahahahahaha'-ing.  And another one telling me that it was supposed to be evil laughing.  See what I mean about the difficulties of electronic communication.  I got the evil laughing thing when the email arrived but he still had to check I knew he was only joking and that I wasn't crying buckets over the loss of my prized chocolate bar.  I'll get my revenge, don't you worry!

You can find the recipe here.


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