I am fairly confident that someone is going to tell me that Aztec Banana Pudding isn’t an accurate name for this dessert. I was trying to think of something snappy to describe a moist pudding loaded with banana, coffee and cardamom, with a chocolate, orange and pecan gooey filling. Aztec seemed like the best description. (Cue food historians). This recipe was large instigated by having bananas that were looking a bit battered. (I store mine in the freezer and take them out a few minutes before I need them if I don‘t have time to bake. It turns them totally black but they get really sweet). My lovely friend Tom had also given me a gift of cardamom coffee the previous week, and these two food items collided in my head.

Aztec pudding

I know it sounds like there are a lot of flavours is this pudding, and there are. However, they are quite subtle and work really well together. It really feels like every mouthful is different and that is something that I love in a dessert. I baked this in a bundt tin because, basically, I love bundt tins! They’re great for allowing you to bake something through without it drying out. It also shows off the chocolate layer really nicely when it’s sliced. This is a really moist cake so it would also work well in a cake in or baked as little individual muffins or desserts.

The buttermilk and yogurt in this recipe add a tart edge, a richness and another level of moisture to the cake. I reduced the conventional butter ratio slightly as the yogurt makes up some of the fat content needed. I think bananas have a slight spiciness when they’re cooked and the cardamom picks this up really nicely. The coffee and dark chocolate add a bitter edge which I like with banana, and give this dessert a sense of luxury. The orange dances in the background to lift the flavour and the pecans add some great crunch! This is a recipe where you reduce or increase  the spices depending on your tastes, but this is how I like it.

I can’t pretend that this is the most photographic dessert. I promise, in ‘real life’ the smell and appearance is really appetising, especially with a drizzle of cream! It’s best served warm so that means that the kitchen is filled with these gorgeous exotic smells shortly before you serve it. I decorated it with some crystallised petals (Check out how to make them here), but an extra drizzle of chocolate, some sprinkles, chopped pecans or even a crushed flake would add to the kerb appeal. To be honest, I don’t think anyone will be complaining if you served this up after Sunday lunch!

Aztec Banana Pudding

(Serves 6 -8 greedy hungry people!)

Ingredients for batter

85 grams butter (unsalted and at room temperature)

25 grams of natural yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

1 egg

1 large or 2 small ripe bananas (The more banana you add, the moister the pudding)

Shot of espresso or ¼ cup of very strong coffee

1 ½ teaspoons of ground cardamom

150 grams soft brown sugar (or half white granulated, half dark brown sugar)

½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

200 grams of plain white flour

100 ml of buttermilk

 Ingredients for filling

100 grams of chopped pecans (toast them if you wish)

45 grams sugar (granulated or soft brown)

½ teaspoon of ground cardamom

2 teaspoons of grated orange zest

100 grams of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used 74% cocoa solids)

Icing

50 grams icing sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons of strong hot coffee

 Method

Grease or line your cake tin or muffin tray. I used a 20cm bundt tin

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius

Make the filling first. This is easy. Mix all the filling ingredients together!

Now, onto the batter. Make your coffee now so it can cool a little.

Cream the butter and sugar today until they are well combined, soft and a little bit fluffy

Mixing aztec batter

Beat in the egg until smooth and stir in the yogurt

Mash your banana. I like mine pretty smooth (you can even sieve it) but have it a bit chunkier if you prefer. Add it to the butter egg mix.

Sieve together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Add it the mix along with the ground cardamom, coffee and buttermilk. Stir until it is all just combined. Don’t mix anymore than you need to as this is (a) unnecessary work and (b) will make your pudding tough!

Pour about half the mixture into the tin or put a spoonful of mix in each muffin cake. Evenly sprinkle over the filling mixture. Cover over with the rest of the batter, doing your best not to disturb the filling layer.

filling bundt tin

Pop in the oven! Muffins will take about 12- 15 minutes to bake while the full pudding will take about forty minutes. It will rise a bit, but not as much as a classic banana bread. Test it by sticking a skewer or sharp knife into the mix. It should come out moist but with no raw batter. It’ll probably have melted chocolate on it too!

Allow the baked pudding to cool for about ten minutes before you turn it out.

Mix the hot coffee with the icing sugar a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick icing that drops reluctantly from your spoon. Drizzle over the top and decorate as you please!

This is definitely at it’s best served warm. This is delicious as it is or with unsweetened cream poured over the top.

aztec banana pudding

I LOVE bundt cakes…so here are a few other bundt recipes…

Spiced Red Velvet Bundt cakes 

‘Almost Healthy’ Sticky Toffee Puddings

Coffee Sour Cream Bundt Cake with a Walnut Swirl

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