In summer, the beautiful yellow bananas you bought only a couple of days ago can suddenly start to go brown overnight. Don’t throw them out unless they are black. Here is a quick and healthy fruit cake recipe that is ideal for using up your overripe bananas, and very economical at less than $0.20 per serving.
The recipe uses the creaming method and has been adapted to use just one mixing bowl (and the plate on which you mash your bananas) to cut down on the washing-up.
Quick & Easy Brown Banana Cake
(For 10-12 servings or 16 bites)
4 medium or 3 large bananas
¾ cup (6 oz / 180g) of sugar
7 tbsp (3½ oz / 100g) of margarine or butter
2 1/3 cups (10 ½ oz / 300g) of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
¼ to ½ tsp of salt (to taste)
¾ cup + 2 tbsp (3½ oz / 100ml) of milk
Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
Using an electric hand mixer set at medium speed, mix the butter and the sugar to a fine breadcrumbs texture in a large bowl.
Blend in the beaten eggs.
Mash the bananas and blend them into the mixture,
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder and stir into the banana mixture. Then add the milk.
Blend until the resultant batter is smooth.
Grease a 9” (22 cm) cake pan or 8” (20cm) square casserole or baking dish and sprinkle it with flour, including the sides.
Pour in the batter and bake it in the oven for 40-45 minutes until fully set in the center (test by inserting a thin knife blade into the center of the cake; the blade should come out clean if the cake is fully cooked).
Leave the cake to cool down for at least 10 minutes before unmolding.
Leave it to cool down fully before cutting.
Cut into slices or bites and serve plain or frosted with chocolate or sour cream frosting or as a dessert with custard, pouring cream or ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Bananas do not come in handy standard sizes. If you are a little heavy on the bananas, the cake will take longer to cook fully in the center. Test it before removing it from the oven because the top may appear set but the center is still sticky.
This cake is ideal for serving as ‘bites’ or ‘à la mode’ with ice cream. Make the cake in an 8” (20cm) square dish and cut into 2” square bites or 10 or 12 slices by cutting the cake in half and then cutting each half horizontally.
Another advantage of using an 8” (20cm) square dish is that, if you have really gone over the top with the amount of banana, the outside of the cake may start to become too hard and dry before the center has set. In this case, the cake is forgiving enough for you to trim a 2” (5cm) wide strip from all around the cake, which you can then cut into slices or bites, and then put back in the oven the 4” (10cm) square centre of the cake that is still a little undercooked and bake it for 10 minutes or so until fully cooked.
You can also cook this cake in the microwave if you use a special microwave-safe tube pan or a round glass casserole dish with a heavy glass tumbler in the middle. Ensure that your casserole dish is marked as being microwave-safe. Cook the batter for around 7 minutes or so (times will vary depending on your microwave oven’s power rating, the altitude, etc.). Allow the cake to stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes before testing the center. If the middle of the cake is still sticky, return the cake to the microwave for a couple of minutes longer and allow it to stand for a few moments before testing again.
Your cake can be a little moister if you wish to serve it with custard, pouring cream or ice cream and chocolate sauce.