From being an always-in-the-lunch-box baby staple, Scrip’s now a bit take it or leave it about bananas. She does like them mashed with milk and a bit of brown sugar (thanks to my mum for reminding me how much I used to like them like this!) And she’ll occasionally eat a whole one as long as she can try and peel it herself. But she’d generally rather have an apple or a pear. Which means that we sometimes have one or two browning bananas left in the fruit bowl.
Now I just stick them straight in the freezer, unpeeled, and use them later for banana bread (don’t worry if the skins turn black when frozen and the insides go mushy – the riper, the better). This one is such a simple recipe and it always gives a really moist cake that goes down very well. Serve it spread with a bit of butter (yes, we do this in my family, much to my husband’s confusion!) or just on its own. It keeps for around a week in a tin or freezes well as a loaf or already cut into slices. This is based on a BBC recipe.
- 285g/10oz plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 110g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 2 free-range eggs
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed – either fresh and very ripe or defrosted frozen bananas. I either take them out of the freezer and leave them to defrost on the side for a few hours or defrost them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then squeeze them out of the skins and mash.
- 85ml/3fl oz buttermilk 285g/10oz plain flour (or normal milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice – I tend to do this as I never have buttermilk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl – but not your main mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in the flour mixture.
- Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour – I usually check it with a skewer at about 55 mins – or until well-risen and golden-brown. It does tend to get quite brown on the top but the inside will still be moist.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving. And enjoy!