I don’t really like banana cake, or carrot cake for that matter. In general, I don’t cook much with bananas, as I don’t like how its taste and smell overwhelms everything else… it’s not one of my preferred fruits. But banana bread is a newly acquired interest, since tasting a very delicious plateful at Olaf’s in Mt Eden with my good friend JM.
This is Nigella’s Italian Breakfast Banana Bread, from Nigellissima. I, too, abhor throwing away food, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to usefully dispose of some over-ripe bananas. The addition of coffee seemed encouragingly strong enough to counter the banana flavour. And, Nigella offered the option of making the recipe in 12 muffin tins for individual portions instead of a loaf tin. With an upcoming extended family gathering, I eagerly pulled out my heart-shaped muffin trays.
300 g very ripe, peeled, bananas (3 medium sized)
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
150 ml flavourless vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
4 tsp instant coffee powder
150 g sugar
175 g flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
- Mash the bananas with the salt and vanilla.
- Beat in the oil.
- Mix the coffee powder in the eggs to dissolve, then beat into the mixture.
- Mix in the sugar, then flour and baking soda.
- Bake at 200°C for 20 min (or at 170°C for 50-60 min if making a loaf).
These went down a treat across 3 generations. The heart shape is always popular, but the taste is an intriguing and balanced combination of coffee and banana, one that I probably wouldn’t have thought to try otherwise. Three tips from Nigella: 1) wait at least half a day, if not one day, before eating; 2) serve with marscapone sprinkled with cinnamon, or chocolate spread; 3) these are suitable for eating at any time, not just breakfast. I thought the taste was pretty good after half a day, and the next day. Completely agree with eating these at any time, although I quite enjoyed these on their own, and might not bother with mascarpone or chocolate spread. But there’s really only one way to know for sure…