One year ago today I posted my very first blog post to Always Make Thyme. I had wanted to start up a food blog for a while, but never really had the confidence. I knew that I loved to cook but I didn’t think that anyone other than me would ever be interested in my recipes or what I had to say about them. Finally I plucked up the courage, paid for my domain and began to set up Always Make Thyme.
I’m not going to lie, beginning a blog with not much technical ability was a very stressful experience, but after a month or so of tweeking and editing, I was ready to publish my first ever blog post. A year on and now publishing my 46th recipe, I am so glad that I found that courage. I have cooked things in the past year that I never thought I could, and I have had some great experiences and opportunities that have all come from this little blog.
To celebrate a year of Always Make Thyme I have decided to give my page a bit of a makeover which I hope you all like just as much as I do. I have also, in true food blogger style, created a beast of a cake for you all to try! A banana and dark chocolate sponge cake, layered 3 stories high with generous amounts of peanut butter-butter cream and topped off with a scattering of banana chips. Cake is always the best way to celebrate! Here’s to the next year!
For the cake:
6 large eggs
375g golden caster sugar
375g self raising flour
375g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 teaspoons baking powder
5 ripe bananas, mashed
300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
For the buttercream:
350g unsalted butter, room temperature
300g smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons of milk
300g icing sugar
A couple of handfuls of banana chips for decoration.
- Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180C or 160C for fan assisted oven. Grease and line 3 x 23cm springform tins with baking paper- you may have to do this in stages depending on the amount of tins you own and the size of your oven.
- Begin by making the cake mixture. Break the eggs into a large bowl and then add in the golden caster sugar, self raising flour, butter and the baking powder. Mix everything together until well combined, but be careful not to over-mix. Using an electric mixer would be the best option here. Once complete, set to one side.
- Place a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently melt the dark chocolate. Once melted, remove from the heat and set to one side allowing to cool slightly before mixing in the mashed bananas.
- Pour the chocolate and banana mixture into your cake mix and gently fold through until well combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins and smooth over the tops. Place in the centre of your preheated oven and cook for around 25 minutes or until cooked through and springy to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and leave cakes to cool for 5 minutes in their tins before carefully removing and transferring to a cooling rack. Lay a tea towel down between the cooling rack and the sponge to avoid dents on your cakes.
- While your cakes are cooling you can now make your buttercream. In a large bowl mix the butter and peanut butter together. Again using an electric mixer would be the best option. Once well combined and lump-free, add in the icing sugar and mix again. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until you are happy with the texture. It should be a fluffy but fairly thick texture and be easy to spread.
- Allow sponge to cool completely and then using a cake leveller or a sharp knife and a very steady hand, cut all three sponges to the same height. Keep the scrap bits of sponge as you will be using these later.
- Once all three layers are the same size, place you first layer on a large plate or cake stand and carefully spread a third of the buttercream on top. Level out with a palate knife and then place the second layer on top. Repeat this process until all three layers are on top of each other and there is a layer of buttercream on top.
- Using a food processor blitz up the scrap pieces of sponge and then sprinkle some on top of the cake. Then to finish, crush a couple of handfuls of banana chips and scatter them on top of your masterpiece!