Treat me: Fairtrade choc banana cake

This week two extremely important women in the world of food visited Wellington. One attracted loads of attention while she filmed an advertisement for Whittakers chocolate; the other could have walked down Lambton Quay without attracting a second glance from anyone.

I’m not saying Nigella Lawson’s Wellington sojourn didn’t deserve all the fuss, but it’s a shame that the equally gorgeous Rose Boatemaa Mensah wasn’t as feted. Rose was in town as part of Fairtrade Fortnight – as well as being a teacher she is a cocoa farmer in Ghana. Some of the beans grown by Rose and her family end up at Whittakers, where they are turned into my favourite chocolate (and the husks even end up on our garden).

I didn’t get to catch up with Rose (or Nigella) this week, but to celebrate all things Fairtrade I’ve whipped up this utterly lovely cake. It combines the two Fairtrade things we eat most in this house – chocolate and All Good Bananas. It’s even inspired by a Nigella recipe – how circular is that?

Fairtrade Chocolate Banana Cake
If you can manage not to gobble this the minute it comes out of the oven, glistening with nuggets of melting chocolate, then it keeps really well. And I’m sure your mum would love it for Mother’s Day (that’s this Sunday, in case you’d forgotten).

400g ripe bananas (peeled weight) – about 3 large ones
250g ground almonds
250g caster sugar
6 eggs
grated zest of two lemons
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
Put the bananas in a food processor and whiz until pureed. Add all the other ingredients, except the chocolate and whiz again until well mixed. Pour into the prepared tin and scatter the chocolate on top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes – it will be damp and sticky but a toothpick plunged in should come out cleanly. Let cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out to cool on a rack.

Have a great weekend, everyone x



  1. May 9, 2014 / 8:53 am

    oh, I can smell & taste this in my mind, just reading about it. Thank you!

  2. May 9, 2014 / 10:10 am

    I need to take a cake for my last day at work next week and this looks perfect. I'd love you to share it at Sweet New Zealand which I'm hosting this month. Hope you have a great weekend.
    Sue xo

    • May 12, 2014 / 7:56 am

      Last day at work? That sounds exciting! Would love to add this to SNZ, will pop over…

  3. May 9, 2014 / 10:53 am

    I love the idea of this cake. Chocolate and bananas go so well together and I love the idea of using ground almonds in this version. I bet that makes it even more damp and delicious than my 'usual' chocolate banana loaf. Must try that next time!

    • May 12, 2014 / 7:57 am

      Hi Antonia, I hope you try it – it's very easy and extremely delicious.

  4. May 9, 2014 / 12:09 pm

    This cake looks so beautiful with the chocolate melting – I don't think I would want to find out if it keeps well 🙂

    • May 12, 2014 / 7:57 am

      Thank you – and yes, it's very, very hard to resist!

  5. May 11, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    Just look at that melting, gorgeous, moreish chocolate (said in a very Nigella esque voice!)

    • May 12, 2014 / 7:58 am

      Perfect, Kate – all you need is a satin dressing gown!

  6. May 12, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    What a FAB looking cake Lucy and with ethical credentials too! I love it!

  7. May 12, 2014 / 11:11 pm

    what an interesting combination – lemon zest and chocolate and bananas! the lemon zest really is the wild card there.
    i can imagine it would be fabulously moist.

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