This lusciously dark cake can be adapted if you don’t have a blow torch, and can’t find activated charcoal or black tahini - these special things are more there for dramatic effect. If you want to keep it simple, omit the charcoal, use regular tahini and caramelize the banana pieces in a pan.

For the cake:

185g (6.5oz) plain white all-purpose flour

60g (2.1oz) ground almonds

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp sea salt

2 tbsp black sesame seeds

125g (4.4oz) light muscovado, soft brown or coconut sugar

5 small bananas, peeled (about 500g / 17.5oz)

65ml (2.2fl oz) light olive oil

65ml (2.2fl oz) sesame oil

For the black tahini icing:

150g (5.3oz) butter, softened

220g (7.7oz) icing sugar

100g (3.5oz) cream cheese

⅓ cup black tahini

1 tsp activated charcoal powder (optional)

For the decorations:

1 ripe banana, sliced into ½ cm rounds

¼ cup sugar (you may not use all of this!)

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Salted caramel (optional)

  1. First, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 x 22cm cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and sesame seeds in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the sugar, banana and oils until pale and well combined and the bananas are mostly broken down.
  4. In 2 parts gently fold in the combined dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make the icing, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter by itself until smooth.
  8. Add the icing sugar and beat on high until seriously light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, thengradually add the cream cheese. Finally fold in the black tahini and activated charcoal powder (if using).
  9. For the bruleed bananas, line a heatproof tray with tin foil and arrange the slices evenly on top.
  10. Sprinkle the caster sugar on top of each slice (around ¼-½ teaspoon on each). Holding the blow torch 30cm above the tray, brulee each sugared banana slice until an amber caramel forms over top.
  11. Once the cakes are completely cool, transfer one layer to a serving plate and ice it.
  12. Carefully place the other layer on top and neatly ice it.
  13. Arrange the cooled banana slices on top and decorate with little dollops of salted caramel and black sesame seeds (if using!)
  14. Serve at room temperature.
  15. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.