Saturday, 13 November 2010

Banana and Pecan Roulade

This week’s cake has two of my favourite ingredients in it; pecans and bananas. Then again, I have a very long list of favourites so add maple syrup and cinnamon and a filling of sweetened cream cheese, for a lightly spiced, nutty, Banana and Pecan Roulade.

For the UK, let’s just say, I meant a fatless swiss roll but doesn’t ‘roulade’ sound nicer. Also, for a change, there is a slightly different mixing technique for the fatless sponge, where the eggs are whisked separately and you have the final challenge of rolling it all up!

However, these ingredients are particularly forgiving for rolling up with the banana keeping the roll moist. Adding a nice nutty texture with pecans and the cream cheese tang you get cake similar to rolled up carrot cake.  This is quick to make and tastes better than you can buy, so have a go.



5   Large eggs
5oz (140g) Golden caster sugar

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

2  Medium size ripe bananas (8 oz/225g with the skins off)
3oz (90g) Pecans

1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Mixed spice
3oz (90g) Self raising flour


10oz (280g) Cream cheese
2 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Cinnamon


Icing sugar to dredge
Optional; banana slices or dried banana pieces if not serving straight away, whole pecans and some of the filling mix on the top of the roulade


I used a large baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper, 26cm x 38cm which makes 1 large sponge or cut the sponge in half, two smaller ones


Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2

In a blender (I use a Magimix with a Sabatier blade) chop up the  pecans coarsely.

Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and creamy, they should have at least doubled in size. Mash or puree the bananas and add to the mixture with the maple syrup. Sift in the flour, the spices and stir in the pecans.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Ready to fold 

Gently fold the egg whites into the main mixture, trying to keep those air bubbles in.

Pour into tin and put into oven. Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 15 minutes. Cook until the sponge lightly springs back to your touch.

The roll method I use is to let the cake cool slightly, for only 5 mins max. Prepare a large piece of greaseproof paper with icing sugar sifted over it. Loosen sides of cake if necessary then turn the cake out first on to a large cooling rack or tray. This confirms that you can get the cake out of the tin.

Gently peel off the original greaseproof paper and then invert the cake onto the sugared greaseproof. You may need your hand to help you support the cake as you do this. Cover with a dampened tea cloth for 2 mins, remove tea cloth and start to roll, with the paper, into a roll.

Scary close up of the roll cooling off on the washer...
Let the cake cool completely.

For the filling, simply combine the cinnamon, maple syrup and cream cheese together. This recipe has a lightly spiced cream cheese filling only sweetened with maple syrup, very similar to a carrot cake topping.  This may not be sweet enough for some cake lovers so think about adding icing sugar now if it’s too tangy for you.

After cake has cooled, gently unroll. Keep a large tablespoon of the filling for the decoration, if desired and, spread the filling generously over the cake. Start to roll up again. Trim ends of the cake for a neat look. (Test that bit, I do.)

Place on serving dish and dredge with icing sugar for a simple and effective finish. You can also decorate the top with a band of filling and place pecan and/or bananas slices on the top, as you wish. This cake serves at least 12 people and a good slice each time, no arguments!

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