It’s recently come to my attention that not everyone shares my love of chocolate. How could this possibly be? I have no idea! Surely chocolate is the purest form of comfort food there is? And not only is it brilliant comfort food, it also has legitimate health benefits (as opposed to illegitimate health benefits…), such as the release of serotonin and oxytocin, which is just basically a good thing (Google it). So why wouldn’t you be in love with chocolate? And for that matter, why wouldn’t you be in love with everything chocolate-related, like chocolate cake!? Who knows, but as I’m learning, not everyone is in love with chocolate.
As a baker, part of the joy of the job is making other people happy – food has this effect on people. The best times are when people visibly enjoy something you’ve baked, especially because you sometimes forget how to enjoy food when you’re around it all the time, and sadly it becomes nothing but a necessary element of life. But this joy and the subsequent desire to make baked-goods that people enjoy means that I can’t just bake what I want to bake. Instead, I have to think about what other people like to eat.
I’ve been trying to do this a lot more recently. In particular, I’ve taken to baking people cakes as my birthday present to them (I figure, everyone likes cake, right?), and this makes it all the more important to know and/or guess what sort of cake or baked-good someone would like. So I’ve been trying to guess, simply based on their personality, what kind of cakes my friends really like. Sometimes it’s easy, as if you’ve always known what kind of cake is their favourite. But other times it’s tricky. And in those situations chocolate is often my fallback. But since I’m learning that not everyone likes chocolate as much as I do, I’ve started asking more questions and baking different sorts of cakes as a result.
You might have noticed that there have been quite a few fruit-based goodies on this blog recently. Well, there it is – these are the different sorts of cakes I mean. Apparently, people really like fruit-based baked-goods. And what’s more, they actually prefer them to chocolate-based things (this fact will never stop astounding me). So, recently that’s meant that I bake more fruit-based cakes than chocolate cakes. It’s a sacrifice, it’s true (but if I’m honest, it’s only a sacrifice because fruit is more annoying to prepare than chocolate), but I suppose that if it makes people happy, I’ll do it.
Spiced Apple and Banana Cake
adapted from therecipecritic
3 apples, chopped into small pieces
2 bananas, sliced
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups self-raising flour
½ tsp bi-carb soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg or mixed spice
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup milk
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced and line the base of a 22cm springform tin with baking paper.
- In a large bowl combine apples, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and stir until combined.
- Add the flour, bi-carb soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and milk, and stir until just combined.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- Top with a caramel syrup or cream cheese frosting, or simply serve with some cream.