The great thing about the banana is that it is versatile as well as affordable. Bananas are the ideal fruit for economic baking so without further ado, here are two of my favourite banana recipes I’d love to share with you!
This is a big indulgent dessert for a special treat. I was really pleased with how mine turned out in the end. The whipped cream made for a pretty finished product! Each slice is deceptively filling but this makes a great treat to share with friends!
· 300g Hob Nobs
· 60g butter
· 397g tin Nestle Carnation Caramel
· 3 large bananas
· 350ml double cream
· 100g milk chocolate (or dark if you prefer!)
· 1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Set the oven to 180C.
2. Crush the Hob Nobs (This is fun by hand though if you have a food processor it’s less effort.) I suggest using a largish bowl so bits don’t go flying everywhere and the end of a wooden rolling pin for your controlled crushing! Take time to make sure the pieces are nice and crumbled.
3. Add melted butter to “stick” the mixture together and transfer the butter and biscuit mix to a 24cm baking tin.
4. Cook for 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted.
5. Leave it to cool then transfer the base to a serving plate.
6. Spread caramel over the cooled base and chill it for an hour at least.
7. Slice your bananas and arrange them over the caramel base.
8. Whip cream and sugar to form soft peaks and add the cream to your biscuit, caramel and banana. You can be artistic with this bit!
9. Melt your chocolate and drizzle it over the top.
10. Refrigerate until serving.
· The whipped cream will hold until serving for a few days, however it’s best to add it just a few hours before serving if it is for a special occasion as it will gradually sink!
· The 60g butter is just a guideline – use as much as required to fully stick the base together.
There’s a few things about banana bread that you need to know. Firstly, riper bananas are the best, even over ripe bananas if you have a few going spare.
I have a few little secrets for my banana bread recipe. To give it an extra layer of flavour, add some quality darker milk chocolate. My favourite bar for this is Green & Black’s Butterscotch milk chocolate. Being a bit of a chocolate connoisseur, this is THE bar to go for, or something similar to give your banana loaf a delightful crunch.
· 285g self raising flour
· 1 tsp baking powder
· ½ tsp salt
· 110g butter
· 225g caster sugar
· 2 free range eggs
· 4 ripe/over ripe bananas
· 85ml buttermilk (or normal milk mixed with 1 ½ tsp lemon juice)
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· (optional 100g Green & Blacks butterscotch milk chocolate)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl.
4. Put to one side and mash your bananas in a separate bowl.
5. Add your eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.
6. Fold in the flour mixture.
7. If you’re using the chocolate, at this point, break it into little chocolate chunks and add to your mix, as little or as much as you like.
8. Grease your loaf tin and add baking paper.
9. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for approximately an hour until well risen and golden brown.
10. Inserting a knife or skewer into the centre of the cake can help you check whether its done, if it’s still a bit gooey in the middle, the knife or skewer won’t come out clean.
11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until serving.
· * This cake goes perfectly with a dollop of crème fraiche!
· * Don’t over mash the bananas.
Following an attack of the mosquitoes, I used banana skin on my bites to sooth the itches. This worked to an extent but I would recommend anti histamine cream over the dubious banana skin remedy any day for stubborn bites. However, bananas are used in many remedies including treatment of the skin condition psoriasis, wart removal and even for a soothing facial! The power of the banana is great!
Finally, here’s ten interesting facts about bananas… Did you know bananas contain radioactive potassium? That the banana tree is considered a herb?
· Credits for my recipes go to the BBC Good Food site – thank you!