Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

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ba 22/08/2018

Another ripe banana recipe to add to the repertoire. This one comes in the form of banana bread with a sweet and crunchy cinnamon streusel topping.

Unlike my traditional go-to banana bread recipe, this loaf has Greek yogurt and sunflower oil incorporated as the moist-makers and wholewheat flour and cornflour for texture.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour or more wholewheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour plain or whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf tin.
  2. Whisk together all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle flour, cornflour (or extra flour), cinnamon, baking powder and salt on top. Gently fold in, do not overmix!
  3. For the crumb topping, place the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until crumbs form.
  4. Place the batter in the prepared loaf tin and evenly sprinkle with the crumb topping.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

 

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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ban 21/08/2018

With this spell of hot weather, I just can’t eat my bananas quick enough before they go ripe so I have had to come up with lots of baking banana recipes to put them to good use. First world problems hey?

One of the moistest cakes I’ve ever eaten. Stick-to-the-back of your fork moist. I am normally not a huge icing fan but the cream cheese frosting, both sweet and tangy, takes this cake from good to greatness. This cake packs mega banana flavour. It is very buttery and cakey from creaming the butter and sugars.

This recipe makes loads of frosting. You don’t have to use it all but it is addictive. If you don’t use it all, I suppose you’ll just have to bake another cake and that’s no bad thing.

The banana cake is dense, but not heavy. The crumb is still very soft and this is down to buttermilk, the moist-maker. The cake wouldn’t be what it is without it. I rarely have buttermilk in my fridge, unless buying it for a specific baking recipe so I usually sour whole milk instead. For this recipe, you’ll need 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk. So here’s what I do instead: measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar then add enough whole milk until I reach 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir it around, let it sit for a minute then pour into the batter. To keep the cake extra rich, I do recommend whole milk.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and ½ cups mashed)
  • 3 cups (375g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ cups (360ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) icing sugar, plus an extra ¼ cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 9×13 inch tin.
  2. Make the cake: Mash the bananas with a fork. Set mashed bananas aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until creamed together. Add the eggs and the vanilla and a spoonful of the flour (to stop the batter separating). Beat until combined then add in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps are OK.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminium foil.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of icing sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix together slowly to start with then beat until well combined. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.
  8. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the fridge for 5 days.

Banana Pancakes with Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup

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Screenshot_2016-08-30-09-36-03-1[1] 31/08/2016

When life (your friend who buys way more bananas than she can possibly consume so gives you loads) gives you bananas, make a tasty breakfast! I’m pretty sure that’s how the saying goes, right? This recipe is super easy, super quick and super tasty. You might say, bananas! Fluffy pancakes are delicately flavoured with a hint of cinnamon and mashed bananas as well as slices of sweet banana for good measure. With salty, smokey bacon on the side, this is a winning breakfast.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon (or pancetta strips)
  • 2-3 heaped Tbsps plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe, small bananas, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 10g butter, melted
  • 50ml milk
  • maple syrup

Screenshot_2016-08-30-10-18-17-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-31-07-44-46-1[1]

Screenshot_2016-08-30-09-31-32-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-30-09-29-41-1[1]

Method:

  1. Heat the grill to high. Arrange the bacon on a baking tray lined with foil. Cook for 5-7 mins until crisp, then turn off the grill but leave the tray inside to keep warm. In a bowl, mix the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana, egg and milk. Whisk to a smooth batter without any flour lumps.
  2. Heat a little butter in a large frying pan. Once sizzling, ladle in small dollops of the pancake batter, leaving a little space between each, as they will spread out. Put a few slices of banana onto the surface of each pancake and cook for 2 mins over a medium heat. When you see bubbles appear between the banana slices, flip the pancakes over and cook for 1 min more, until puffed up and golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm with the bacon while you cook the rest. Serve the pancakes with the crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

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IMG_20150823_164518[1] 23/08/2015

I love bananas and I love peanut butter even more. Blended together, they make a fantastic smoothie that is cheap, easy healthy and extremely tasty.

The bananas are frozen before blending to give an almost ice-cream like creaminess with none of the fat or sugar to worry about.

Possibly my shortest recipe to date (if you can call it a recipe), this is a perfect cooling treat for a sunny afternoon.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Add the frozen banana slices, peanut butter, salt and milk to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add enough milk to help the banana break up but not so much that the mixture becomes really runny. You want the smoothie to be nice and thick.
  2. Pour the contents into glasses, stick straws in and enjoy!

Banana Flapjacks

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IMG_20140728_131511[1]  28/07/2014

Maybe these should be called ‘one week a year flapjacks’ because it seems that in England, this is the period of time for which there is sufficient weather warm enough to turn your bananas ripe.

I mean ripe as in opening the cupboard and being greeted by an immediate banana aroma and spotty yellow skin that would make an adolescent Simpson blush.

I love bananas so I always have a supply in the house and they never hang around long enough to ripen but on the rare occasion that they do, it is an excellent opportunity to make all things banana: banana bread, hummingbird cake, banana & peanut butter milkshakes and of course, banana flapjacks.

The great thing is that these flapjacks keep very well for up to a week if stored in an airtight container (and not eaten in one sitting).

Banana Flapjacks

Ingredients:

  • 125g baking margarine
  • 85g light muscovado or light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 350g porridge oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100g sultanas (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 9×13 baking tin with foil and lightly grease.
  2. Melt the margarine, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan over a gentle heat until melted together.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the oats, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir in the mashed bananas and sultanas if using and mix well until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin. Use a metal spoon to smooth the surface.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are turning golden brown and it feels fairly firm.
  7. Remove from the oven and cut into bars immediately. Leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin before transferring to an airtight container.

Enjoy!