Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4, and butter 3x18cm cake tins, then line their bases with circles of baking paper. Beat the butter, peanut butter and sugar together with 1 egg until pale and light. Mix the mashed banana, remaining eggs, yogurt and vanilla together, then pour into the peanut butter mixture followed by the flour, baking powder and spices. Combine to a smooth batter, then divide equally between the tins – weighing the mixture will give you even layers. Bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes – a skewer poked into the centre should come out clean when the cakes are done. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
For the frosting, mash the butter and peanut butter together in a big bowl. Mash in the icing sugar a little with a spatula (saves mess!), then swap to an electric whisk to beat the icing until smooth. Add the vanilla paste and milk and beat again.
To assemble the cake, use about a quarter of the frosting to sandwich the sponges together on a cake plate or stand. Use a long palette knife to spread a little more of the icing over the entire cake in a very thin covering – but filling in any gaps between layers, and using the knife to create a smooth surface. Now put your cake in the fridge for 30-40 minutes until the icing is firm – this ‘crumb coating’ makes it easier to ice neatly.
Once the icing is chilled and firm, cover the cake with the rest of the icing, again using a palette knife to give a clean, flat finish. Leave to set – finishing with a few more chopped nuts if you like.