Admittedly this is a bit of an odd post from someone who dislikes bananas but I don’t just dislike them, I f**king hate them. I’ve spent my whole life, trying to avoid bananas (which really wasn’t difficult) but they’ve managed to ruin almost every fruit salad I’ve ever eaten. Not cool.
But when I look back and try to identify the root of my banana problem, it seems to stem from monkey’s. Staring down at the bottom of the monkey cage at Whipsnade Zoo was not a pretty sight. Half eaten bananas strewn all over the floor and rolled in a mixture of mud and monkey turds. Not very appetising. That being said, this didn’t seem to put me off eating oranges, a common accompaniment to the monkey breakfast. Oranges are just nicer though aren’t they, so lets move on.
A banana is just a fruit though for god’s sake, I need to stop being such a wimp. Full of potassium and very portable, the banana is the perfect snack so what the hell is my problem? It isn’t like I haven’t tried, every couple of years I attempt to eat a banana, and every couple of years I fail miserably. It always starts off well, ‘this aint so bad’ I think to myself as I unzip the yellow skin but then get a wiff of that unpleasant banana smell. Okay, so just breath through your mouth, no problem, easy. Right, now bite the top, don’t even think about it, just do it. Shit, where’s that brown bit gone? Did I eat it? Why are there always brown bits on bananas? Oh god, it’s now turned to mush in my mouth, I try to swallow it but I can’t, I just can’t, so instead I retch, quick abort, ABORT!
I like my mum’s banana cake though, so that’s weird. Enjoy!
Banana cake with ricotta & honey
Makes 1 loaf / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr 5 mins + cooling time / V
You’ll need: 9 inch loaf tin
225g wholemeal flour + extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ginger
175g demerara sugar
110ml olive oil
110ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large over-ripe bananas mashed
2 handfuls crushed walnuts
Knob of butter for greasing
Vegetarian ricotta and runny honey to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3. Mix together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in a medium sized bowl and put to one side.
2. In another larger bowl, combine the sugar, olive oil, milk and the vanilla together and give it a good stir. Peel and mash the bananas with a fork in a separate bowl and add the wet mixture.
3. Once combined, add half the dry mix to the wet mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon, then add the crushed walnuts. Add the rest of the dry mixture and stir until you have a wet cake mix.
4. Grease a loaf tin with butter and then pour roughly a Tbs of flour into the tin. Move the flour around the tin (I tend to do this over a bin) until the flour has coated the sides and base of the tin evenly. This stops the cake from sticking).
5. Pour the cake mixture into the loaf tin and pop in the oven, on the middle shelf for around 50 minutes. To check if the cake is done, stick a knife into the cake and if it comes out a little sticky, cover the cake in foil and continue to bake for a further 10-15 minutes. If the knife comes out clean the cake is done.
6. Leave in the tine to cool. Score around the cake with a knife and turn out into a cooling rack. Serve with a generous dollop of ricotta and a good drizzle of honey.
If you’ve had a go at making my banana cake or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
❄– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap well in a few layers of cling film and freeze. Consume within 3 months.