There’s only one thing to do with a brown banana
I like my bananas perfectly yellow, with not a fleck of brown in sight. As those brown spots start to develop so does a distinct overripe aroma that permeates the fruit bowl. Leave them a couple more days and you will end up with black bananas, ready to burst at the slightest touch. I had three offenders sitting on my kitchen bench, past the point of ‘peel and eat’ but not quite at the ‘throw in the bin right now’ stage. My timing was perfect, I had only one option; I had to make cake.
My favourite banana cake recipe comes from Stephanie Alexander in her household staple The Cook’s Companion. The ingredients are easy to put together and the end result is a cake that looks, smells and tastes great. The cake emerges from the oven with delicious steam wafting above a golden crust. Cut a slice to find a soft crumb, neither gooey nor dry, with flavor more akin to caramel than banana. Ice it if you like, but my preference is to simply dust with icing sugar so as not to interfere with the cake’s own flavours.
I took this to lunch with friends and the negotiations over the last slice were fierce. I was happy to stay out of that one! Although my husband, hoping for leftovers, was a little disappointed in my lack of contest! I will happily make him a banana cake of his very own, he’ll just have to wait for the bananas to turn brown!