Banana Yellowman Cake…Wow! The recipes have great eye-catching names this year. Chicken Skink yesterday and now Banana Yellowman. So what is a Banana Yellowman Cake? Well, it is a delicious moist banana cake that is shot through with little sticky nuggets of Yellowman and glazed with a caramel frosting. But what is Yellowman? Oh, right, unless you’re from Ireland, the term is probably not one you are familiar with. Yellowman is what Honeycomb is called in Ireland. It is also known as Cinder Toffee in Britain and Hokey Pokey in New Zealand and Cornwall. (I was tempted to call this cake a Hokey Pokey Cake because after I took one bite I was fairly certain that this cake could be “what it’s all about”, but since I’m including it in the St. Patrick’s Day countdown, I decided to go with “yellowman”). So, Yellowman is that yellow or golden sugary toffee with a crunchy sponge-like texture. You’ve maybe seen it in the middle of a Crunchie candy bar.
I’m not sure if you can just go out and buy it in a shop, but the good news is that it is very easy and fun to make. And if you have kids, they can help out and get a quick chemistry lesson as well. You see the reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas, which gives the Yellowman its bubbly, crunchy consistency.
The reaction is quite dramatic once that baking soda is added. Seriously it foams up to about 4x its original size, so make sure you are using a deep pan. And do exercise caution because you have to heat it to 300°F (150°C) before you add that baking soda, so there is potential there for some serious burns. Once you have a batch of Yellowman made up, you can use some of it in this cake, of course, but you can also dip it in chocolate for a great treat all on its own, or crumble it over ice cream.
I first came across this recipe on a great blog from the West of Ireland, Warm & Snug & Fat. The husband has never met a banana dessert he didn’t like, so I knew this cake would be a winner. And I am often looking for a way to use up bananas that have crossed over that thin line of ripe enough to way too ripe. This cake takes care of four of those types of casualties. After the Yellowman has been made, the cake comes together quickly and easily. And boy does it deliver on taste. Moist, tender, very notable banana flavour and when you get a bite with one of those bonus golden nuggets of goodness, it is pure bliss.
This cake would be just fine without the frosting, but the frosting really puts it over the top and provides something to which even more of that crumbled Yellowman can cling on to. And as far as Yellowman is concerned, the more the merrier!
Banana Yellowman Bundt Cake
recipe from: Warm & Snug & Fat
For the cake:
- 225 grams (8oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 heaped tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 110 grams (4oz) caster sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 75 grams (3oz) butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 65 grams (2½ oz) yellowman/ honeycomb, smashed (recipe for yellowman/honeycomb below)
- 4 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
For the caramel frosting:
- 115 grams butter
- 115 grams light muscovado sugar
- 140 ml heavy cream
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
Mix in the egg, melted butter and vanilla but do not beat.
Fold in the honeycomb and mashed bananas, using a fork. Again, do not beat.
Spoon into a buttered and floured bundt tin or lined (3½ inch x 8 inch) 900 gram/2lb loaf tin and bake in an oven preheated to 350° F ( 180° C, gas mark 4) for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when prodded gently with your finger.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Once cake is completely cool, drizzle caramel frosting over the top. You can also add some extra crumbled honeycomb to garnish.
Yellowman, Honeycomb, Cinder toffee, Hokey Pokey
recipe from: Nigella.com
- 100 grams caster sugar (can substitute granulated, but you should probably give it a couple of pulses in the food processor to make the sugar “superfine”)
- 4 tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 25 ml water
Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. If you notice that sugar is clinging to the sides of the pan, you can paint the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water. Once you turn on the heat, it is very important that you do not touch it! That’s right, no stirring.
Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt. Continue watching the pan closely. You will notice that it will liquefy and then turn a dark amber color. It should reach a temperature of 150°C/300°F. Or you can drop a bit of it in a small bowl of water and if it forms a hard ball when it hits the water, it is done. I think the thermometer version is easier. It will take about 3 minutes or so, depending on how high you have the heat.
Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. Take care because the mixture will bubble up crazily, like a volcano comes to mind. Turn this immediately onto a piece of baking parchment or greased foil. Don’t try to smooth it out. Just pour it and leave it alone.
Once it has cooled, smash it will a rolling pin or hammer so that it splinters into many pieces.
Store in a air-tight bowl.
Banana Yellow Bundt Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)