Tahini Banana Cake

Banana bread dressed up with tahini, chocolate chips and banana curd. #253: Tahini Banana Cake

I was reading through my Nadiya Bakes cookbook and did a double-take when I got to this recipe. Banana curd? Say what?!

Think halfway between silky smooth banana pudding and a thick banana jam. Intriguing to say the least! I think I prefer a lighter, sweeter banana pudding if I’m eating it by the spoonful, but the nutmeg in the curd paired with the nutty flavor of the cake had me coming back for seconds.

Tahini feels like peanut butter’s cousin. Made from sesame seeds, it has a strong taste that brings a yummy savory edge to baked treats. Swirling some into a batch of brownies is just . . . *chef’s kiss*

I’ve known and loved many a banana cake: Banana Cinnamon Tower Cake in 2017 and Banana Bundt Cake in 2019 to name a few. With the amount of chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar I put in my banana bread, I think it’s migrated into the cake camp as well.

Subtly sweet and super moist, bananas can pinch hit for lots of ingredients in more casual bakes. They can stand in for eggs (when the binding element is not essential), butter or oil. But I don’t usually have stray ripe bananas hanging out on my counter to use as substitutes. The second they ripen, they get dumped into muffin batter or a smoothie!

This pan is Nate’s dish-washing archnemesis. Unfortunately for him, it’s my favorite! This recipe could 100% be made in a loaf pan, but how can you say no to cute scalloped edges?

While the cake naps in the oven, it’s curd time. No matter how many times I say it, the word curd still sounds unappetizing. Which isn’t fair to the delicious custardy deliciousness that it is!

Most curds call for pre-pureed fruit or juice, but this recipe went rogue and had me puree all the ingredients in the food processor. Considering the texture of bananas, it didn’t feel too far out in left field.

Brb, stirring my giant cauldron of banana curd.

Now it’s the curd’s turn to nap while I finagle this slightly over-baked cake out of it’s pretty tin. Whenever my cakes get stuck, I rely on a combination of pleading and a small silicon spatula.

Cake top for snacking later. Possibly dunked in dark chocolate. Or turned into cake pops with chocolate frosting. Eek, one bake at a time!

Welcome back, banana curd! The fridge working viscosity wonders over here.

Time to level up!

I meant to mix the chocolate chips in with the curd, instead of having to smash them down into the curd to get them to stay put. Eh, whatever works!

I couldn’t figure out a cute way to pipe banana curd, so here we are.

Gotta love a curd layer as thick as the cake layer! Next time, we’re doing thinner layers of cake and the curd will be lightened with whipped cream. And more chocolate chips! Obviously.

Happy munching!

P.S. – Meet my photoshoot manager. She’s rather critical but has excellent taste.

Recipe from: Nadiya Bakes

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