Tahitian Banana Cake and…’That’ or Death?

I’ve been gone for a few days and now I just absolutely have to tell you why.

And it’s not that interesting.

And you won’t be the slightest bit jealous.

Because it wasn’t as if I was whisked away to a romantic destination in an incredibly remote part of the world where the internet hadn’t yet been connected.  No, I’ve been absent because I was doing that thing that if most of us had a choice between ‘that’ and death, we would probably choose death.

And now you’ve guessed it.

That’s right – I was moving house.

And the horror of it all.

Tahitian Banana Cake

The truck with the two burly blokes was arriving on Monday so Carl thought it would be nice if on Saturday, I (note the singular use of ‘I’) took as much as I could over to the new house as I could manage.  Carl wouldn’t be joining me on this activity because he had to work.  So I toiled all day making trip after trip with my boxes all the time confused as to why not only my husband but my teenagers had deserted me.  Arabella, in a very clever and timely way, had booked a weekend in Melbourne and left for the airport first thing Saturday morning.  Archie performed on Friday night in ‘The Girl from Maxims’ and came home at 2am and woke with no voice.  With one remaining performance and with me having tickets for that show Archie convinced me that the best thing for him and the audience would be if he just lay around and rested all day.

By a stroke of luck, a friend called and said his teenage son had to do two hours of community service for some project that was compulsory at his school.  ‘Okay if I bring him around with his mate to give you a hand?’  So I had two helpers who made up for my teenagers and a substitute for Carl.  We didn’t stop until 6.15pm and we had to leave for Archie’s play at 6.45pm.

We went to the play and Archie did his best but in the interval he did send me a text saying, ‘I’m dying back here.  I have no voice left’, but somehow he rasped his way through Act II.  After the show we met him in the foyer where he announced it would be poor form not to attend the cast party so he would go to that for a little while and then stay the night at a mate’s place and be home first thing in the morning to help with the business of moving.

I knew immediately to dismiss those words about being home first thing in the morning and helping.

Carl and I arrived home at about 12.30am.  At around 1am I was hopping into our sleigh bed and I had been telling Carl for a while that I really think he ought to take a look at the bed because I was sure there was something wrong with the base on my side.  Carl dismissed my cries saying he’d investigate the issue on the day of the move when he had to pull the bed apart.

I was lying in bed and just dozing off when there was a crash and my side of the bed dropped and now I was on the floor.  Carl was fine, his side of the bed was unharmed.  All Carl said was, ‘Unbelievable how it couldn’t have stayed together for just one more night.’

Then he went looking for his tool box but he couldn’t find it because I’d taken it to the new house.  Well we weren’t going to be able to get any sleep with the bed on a 45 degree angle so Carl had to go to the new house, find his tool box and bring it back.  He came back and he was uttering expletives that I won’t share with you here but he pulled the bed apart and we slept on the mattress that was now on the floor.

We moved all day Sunday, just the two of us because Arabella was still in Melbourne and we had no idea where Archie was especially as his phone was switched off.  Some kind friends invited us around for dinner that night saying we would be too exhausted to cook ‘so come round for a Sunday roast’.  At around 2pm they phoned me to let me know they had just put the Jamie Oliver slow-roasted shoulder of lamb in the oven when there was an explosion and their oven had blown up.  ‘Mind if we bring it over to cook in your new oven?’  So they arrived with the shoulder and I gave the oven in my new kitchen a four-hour workout.

At about 6.30pm I pulled the shoulder out of the oven just as the heavens opened and we had the most terrific downpour.  I carried the shoulder out to the car getting thoroughly drenched in the process and off we went to dinner.  The shoulder of lamb was incredible.  It was a great meal from Jamie at Home and I’ll cook it soon and put the recipe up so you can try it because it was just delicious.  For dessert they caramelised some fresh figs in honey and that was equally as good so I’ll blog about that soon too.

I had almost finished my caramelised figs that I was enjoying with a glass of ‘sticky’ when my phone rang and it was Arabella sobbing uncontrollably saying she was back from Melbourne but was doubled over from pain in her back and could I come home.  We made a hasty exit arriving to find Arabella in a very bad way so I took her up to Emergency where she was taken straight through and put on a morphine infusion for a queried kidney infection.  She had a range of tests performed and a kidney infection was then diagnosed so she was given two courses of antibiotics through an IV and then we were told we could go home.  We were there seven hours and left at 4.30am.

We came home and I had a couple of hours sleep before the removalists arrived and then it was, ‘Where do you want this table?’, ‘Does this go in here?’ and ‘Do you want this inside or outside?’  I was so tired I was almost wishing everything would just roll off the truck never to be seen again.

And tonight I’m off to Parent/Teacher interviews at Arabella’s school (where there had better be some good news), and then I’m having dinner at Jamie’s Italian and I hope to tell you all about it tomorrow.

Just before I started taking boxes over to the new house, I whipped up this Tahitian Banana Cake because I thought it would be good for morale.  It was a bit under-cooked (which is why there isn’t a photo of a slice of cake) so I made it again, this time in a ring tin and that worked much better.  But the ring tin cake was eaten by my lovely helpers before it was photographed so you’ll just have to trust me that this is a wonderful banana cake that is incredibly moist and good served with just a sprinkle of icing sugar or you could do a cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with some toasted walnuts.


Serves: 10-12

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Very inexpensive and a great way to use up over-ripe bananas – much better than throwing them out!

  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 4 tbspns milk
  • dash of vanilla extract or half a vanilla pod scrapped
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 or 5 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tbspn baking soda

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until combined.  Add milk and mix well.  Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  The mixture should be light and smooth.  Add vanilla and mashed bananas.  Mix well.  Sift flour and baking soda and gently mix into the batter.  Whip egg whites until firm peaks form.  Gently fold into the cake mix until just combined.  Pour mixture into a 20cm greased cake tin.  Bake for 445-50 minutes or until firm to touch.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin then turn out onto a wire rack.

This recipe is by Anita Lewis.

Want to keep in touch?  Let’s be friends on Facie!

Related Post


  1. I’m definitely NOT jealous of your ‘break’ from blogging. All the best in your new home. Nice recipe too. 🙂

  2. You were missed… I was wondering yesterday if you were ok! I hope Arabella’s doing better now and enjoy Jamie’s Italian!

  3. What a weekend you had. I hope your kids heal quickly and you get settled in the new house quickly.

  4. Goodness me, I remember moving and yes I think many people would choose death or a tax audit over moving! This weekend we’re slow roasting a lamb shoulder too. I can’t wait. Although the sun seems to be peeking out nowadays!

  5. Oh what a drama! I hope you have a good recovery and that your new house proves to be absolutely wonderful and worth it.

  6. Wait a minute, how did you find time to write this post, let alone bake a cake after such an horrific week end? My goodness, I don’t think I would even be sane after all that crammed together in two days… You are truly amazing.

  7. Oh no!! I have to do the same thing in just a couple of weeks too :0

    I am still in the denial stage 🙁 I’m not even packing 🙁
    I can’t believe everyone deserted you, I might have to take a leaf out of the delinquent childrens book and arrange a prior appointment… although I am sure it would all still be waiting for me when I got back.

    I am sure it will be a great move for you. 🙂 Poor Arabella!!

  8. Moving = stress and I’ve been known to make the worst excuses not to help others move….yes it’s horrible I know! Can’t wait for the recipes you mentioned.

  9. OMG! You’ve had a rough couple of days 🙁 I feel so sorry for you Charlie! I’ve never moved houses myself (very lucky) but have helped Mr Bao move house and that was already more than enough for me to handle! And i swear men don’t do anything… they just ask us to organise and do everything.

    I hope Arabella is feeling much better now! I’ve had really serious UTI infections before and I was in hospital too so I know what she went through 🙁 poor girl!

    Really hope you rest up and enjoy Jamie’s Italian tonight!

    Take care Charlle!!!

  10. In my opinion, moving is the worst activity one can take part in! But you faced it with bravado…and cake. Both, totally necessary.

  11. Oh wooow…. I must say that it seemed like you handled all the madness and chaos really well. You took things in stride and even managed to bake a cake/blog about the experience at the end. I know it’s not over but wishing you all the best with everything!!!

  12. Your cake sounds yummy. Can’t wait to try it!

  13. And you missed only a couple of days? Impressive! Hope all is going well!!!

  14. You always have stories! I hope your daughter is feeling better, the cake sure looks great!

  15. That whole moving thing can be a big pain in the you know where. I do not care for the packing up part because you soon realize where did all this you know what come from; there is this much stuff?!? Here’s to things getting back to normal for you and your family.

  16. I’m exhausted! Charlie Louie, I don’t know how you do it — not that you really had much choice. It was a “perfect storm” where a variety of factors converge at the same place and time. Thank goodness Jaime Oliver didn’t let you down. I’ve tried a number of his recipes and each went well. I hope the parent/teacher conference goes well so that you can relax and enjoy tonight’s dinner. Oh! Your banana cake sounds wonderful!

  17. Wow what a tough couple of days! Hope you get a chance to relax. lovely banana cake too. Enjoy jamies Italian x

  18. I hate moving! Charlie, you are a superwoman making all this plus excellent dishes!
    I hope your daughter feels better soon.

  19. Goodness, what a rough few days you’ve had! Carl, if you’re reading these comments, after all this, Charlie really does need to be whisked away to a romantic destination in an incredibly remote part of the world…

    Hope the kids are ok…

  20. I’m exhausted and stressed just reading this post. My goodness. I hope the next few days are less dramatic and traumatic. And what is it about teens turning off or not answering their cell phones or disappearing when they are most needed? This seems to be a universal quality.

  21. Gah – I don’t envy you Charlie – I hate moving house. It’s got to be one of the most stressful, horrible things I can think of. I hope you’re happy in your new place and well-settled now though!

  22. I love slow roasted lamb. And I love banana cake.

  23. O dear I was wondering if something awful had happened., but no just the usual. Mother doing everything while everyone else complains. I hope your new house is self cleaning…. just to help you. Lovely simple Banana cake will give it a try

  24. What a comedy of errors! It sounds just like an ‘I love Lucy’ episode doesn’t it. I hope poor Arabella and Archie feel much better soon, and that you can switch off and have a relaxing evening out. Maybe you should turn off YOUR phone 🙂

  25. Cakelaw says:

    Wow, after all that, the cake should be laced with a double shot of rum – which would go great with the bananas.

  26. Wow, what a weekend…I do not like moving…and who does? In spite of being so busy you manage to bake this cake…amazing. Looks great this banana cake as I just posted one this week as well 😉
    I am always looking for recipes using banana…like you do not like to waste them when they are too ripe 🙂
    Hope you having a great week!

  27. Oh Hun you poor thing. You certainly don’t do things in halves do you. I hate moving as it is, let alone trying to do it by yourself and with everything else you had going on. I hope this week sees you settled in and you enjoy the unpacking and pottering part….quietly….undisturbed. xxx

  28. Magnolia Verandah says:

    I hate moving – although we haven’t done it for many years now. At one stage it averaged out that we moved every two years – horrendous. On one particular move (before mobile phones) my husband left on the Saturday morning before the removal men arrived to pick up a ute from work that would be helpful for small boxes. He never returned! As we only had one car at the time I had to get in the van with the burly removal men to show them how to get to the new house. How on earth did you manage to bake this cake amid the drama!

  29. Enjoy dinner at Jamie’s Italian — looking forward to hearing about it!

    Thank you for sharing the Tahitian Banana Cake recipe, sounds like a great way to use up ripe bananas.

  30. Wow Charlie I’m ready to go back to bed just reading about your weekend. I hope next weekend is a quiet one enjoying your new home.

    Poor Arabella. I had a kidney infection a few years ago and it was so painful. I ended up in hospital for a week!

  31. Moving can be such a pain.
    Why is this called Tahitian?

  32. Moving is just stressful, even when it’s easy. What I want to know is why is it we women often end up with the lion’s share of the work? Or so it seems–and I don’t think I am usually sexist in any way!

    Great looking banana cake. Makes me want to bake one right now!

  33. Wow. When I forget to blog it is simply because I was lazy or forgot. I am exhausted just reading your post. And throughout all that chaos, you still baked cakes AND make a roast. I bow down to you.

  34. Wow! Its been hectic for you! I hope everyone is feeling better :/ the cake should help 🙂

  35. Hope all has settled down now. I am exhausted just from reading your post. The cake looks lovely and I had been wondering what to do with the over ripe bananas I have.


  36. I feel so selfish.. my last thought was “I wonder if she’s got any of the square cake left?” Sily me, we don’t live near each other.. but it is my kind of cake.. On to more important things.. my goodness (insert expletives) I cannot believe you had those events and all back-to-back with each other! I’m amazed you’re alive to tell the tale AND baked that cake!! You’re family are a lucky bunch!
    ps my son disappears to use the washroom every evening when there are dishes to do.. do you think it’s a coincidence;)

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Oh no, that’s not a coincidence Barb, that a deliberate ploy! And if you were closer, I would have shared my cake with you and I wouldn’t even have asked you to help me move!

  37. What a story, Charlie, I’m really sorry your family is so unsupportive, I couldn’t imagine having to do all that you did without help from them. And then all the other drama. Had we lived closer to one another you surely could have called me for help. JT and I had ourselves moved in and virtually unpacked at the end of a long weekend!

  38. You had quite a lot of bad luck around your move. But on the bright side, your new oven was working! When we moved into our house a couple years back, the oven and dishwasher were both broken. The repairman discovered that the fridge was also broken, and he caught that before it leaked all over the newly stained wood floors. Moves are never easy. Enjoy your new space!

  39. I don’t know how on earth you had time to make that good looking banana cake after all you went through. I’m exhausted reading it…but am glad you’re back so I can read your great stories! 🙂

  40. Moving is exhausting! I remember when we moved from our second-story apartment to our two-story house. After getting everything moved in, my husband was so tired that he declared he was going to live only on the first floor of the house so that he’d never have to walk up another staircase! LOL Thankfully, after a good night’s rest, he didn’t make good on that. 😉

  41. shifting houses is never easy, my dad was in a transferable job & thoughout my childhood we kept changing cities every 2 years & it was always hell, things getting broken during the journey, few missing, the load-truck arriving late… but worst of all was setting up everything into the new house… truly back breaking work, & u had to do it all on ur own, my heart goes out to u! the cake looks fantastic, i will take ur word coz it looks super spongy to me 🙂 have fun settling into ur new house

  42. You really are Super Woman! You need the big ‘S’ on your blog’s header at the start of Spiced. I hope you have wonderful years in your new home. xx

  43. Oy, vey, I don’t know how you survive everything that happens to you!!! But I love reading about it! I hope that you’re beginning to feel settled in your new home – how fun! I love being in a new house (whether new or new-to-me) though, of course, the actually moving part isn’t fun. But I love organizing everything…though you coudln’t tell my the mess my house is currently in. Anyway, I am printing off this recipe and I will eat it and think of Australia!!!

  44. OMG I’m exhausted after reading this. I cracked up when Carl said he said that the bed could have held together for one more night.

    You must be SO tired!

  45. Your move sounds really tough. Isn’t it amazing as soon as we have a major job to do, the teens disappear and then we end up with a dozen different jobs to do. I hope Arabella is good now. GG

  46. “Unbelievable how it couldn’t have stayed together for just one more night.”
    I laughed at this, but also sighed in frustation, bl**dy men!

    I hope you are settling into your new home, and that everyone is helping with the unpacking…

  47. What a story! I know what it is like: moving house. In October, we moved from our tiny appartment to a new & final dream house! I think you are quickly back to blogging!! Good for you! I hope the bed will be mended or a new one will be bought! Good luck with the unpacking! Your cake looks fan though! Have a great ” relaxing ” weekend! 🙂

  48. I’ve been away from my computer, too, so I’m just seeing this post. I was visiting the old folks (my parents). I think I’d rather have moved to a new house! In fact, I AM a bit jealous about that. I’d love to move — except for that whole hard work aspect.

    So sorry for Arabella! Hope she has recovered.

Speak Your Mind