Chef's Recipes

Grant Achatz's steamed black cake with roasted banana and olive oil ice-cream

This warm cake gets gooier as the banana and olive oil ice-cream melts into a sauce. It'll remind you of the sticky puddings of your childhood.

By Grant Achatz
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus chilling
  • Serves 8
  • Print
"I've always loved warm desserts with ice-cream," says Achatz. "Every bite is different as the ice-cream begins to melt into a sauce and you get layers of texture. My girlfriend has family in England and lived there when she was young, so she has nostalgia for sticky toffee pudding. We combine the two memories with a twist of banana and olive-oil ice-cream."


  • 300 gm plain flour (1 2/3 cups)
  • 10 gm baking powder
  • 100 gm raisins
  • 100 gm currants
  • 100 gm pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground mace (see note)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 250 ml milk (1 cup)
  • 250 gm molasses
  • 200 gm butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 60 ml brandy
  • 1 egg
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting
Roasted banana and olive oil ice-cream
  • 3 bananas, unpeeled, skins pierced at intervals with a skewer
  • 750 ml pouring cream (3 cups)
  • 250 ml heavy cream (45% fat content) (1 cup)
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 250 gm granulated sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 250 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1 cup)


  • 1
    For ice-cream, preheat oven to 190C. Place bananas on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast until skins blacken and begin to seep juice from the piercings (20-25 minutes), then peel. Bring creams, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, half the sugar and 5gm salt to a simmer in a saucepan. Pulse yolks and remaining sugar in a blender to combine, then add banana. Remove vanilla bean from cream mixture and, with motor running, pour into blender and process for 3 minutes. With motor still running, slowly add olive oil and blend until well emulsified (5-6 minutes); stop the blender at intervals if it gets hot, wait for it to cool, then resume blending. Transfer to a bowl placed over ice and leave to cool, stirring occasionally (20-30 minutes). Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required. Makes about 2 litres.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 170C. Butter a 23cm-diameter cast-iron pan. Mix flour, baking powder, dried fruit, walnuts, spices, rind and 3gm salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the centre. Whisk milk, molasses, butter, brandy, egg and vanilla seeds in a separate bowl to combine, then add to well and mix until combined but slightly lumpy. Pour into pan, cover with plastic wrap (don't worry, it won't melt), then a layer of foil and bake until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (50 minutes to 1 hour). Serve warm with roasted banana and olive-oil ice-cream, and dusted lightly with cinnamon.


Ground mace is available at select spice shops and online from

  • Author: Grant Achatz