Banana cake or banana bread? Who knows what the difference is? Certainly not me. It seems to be a bit of a geographic thing … if you’re in the eastern states of Australia (particularly New South Wales) it’s banana bread, similarly if you’re in the US or Canada.
Hopefully this family recipe will be what you’re after, whether you’re searching for a banana bread recipe or a banana cake recipe!
Now – the first thing you need is three super ripe bananas. The horrible ones that have gone all black. It can be tricky to score yourself three at the right level of super ripeness all at the same time BUT I have discovered that you can freeze bananas. All you need to do is take your super ripe banana and pop it in the freezer. You don’t need to wrap it or anything. When you want to use it, remove it from the freezer a few hours in advance (they defrost quickly) and place it on a plate or in a bowl. This is quite important because defrosting bananas lose quite a lot of water.
Make sure you peel the banana when it’s only defrosted a little bit (let’s say 15-30 minutes out of the freezer). Straight out of the freezer it will be too hard, and if you wait too long it will all be too gluggy and impossible to peel. When you’re ready to use the banana, drain off the water it’s lost and ignore the fact that it looks really really ugly and unpalatable!
For the cake, preheat your oven to 180°C (convection, not fan) and grease a 1lb loaf tin.
Beat together 125g of unsalted butter and 175g of caster sugar. If you have a food processor go ahead and use this! Add 2 eggs and beat well before adding 300g of self raising flour. This mixture will be quite stiff at this point.
Add your three overripe bananas, well mashed, and ensure the mix is well combined. Finish by adding 60mL (or ¼ cup) of milk, into which you’ve dissolved 1 tsp of bicarb. This will loosen the mixture up a little and you’ll be able to pour it into your loaf tin.
This will almost fill the tin – but don’t worry – you shouldn’t end up with cake mixture all over your oven!
Bake at 180°C for about 45-50 minutes. In our oven (which is a little slow on convection) it took 50 minutes. I actually started checking the cake around the 30 minute mark but at that point it was still very very wobbly. As usual with cakes, you want a skewer or toothpick to come out clean. And naturally, you want your cake to be lovely and golden.
When done, remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes and turn out onto a wire rack. When completely cool, top with chocolate ganache. You could also sprinkle a few chopped walnuts in a decorative line down the centre.
Perfect for afternoon tea … and using up bananas.