Cold days like today get me baking for two reasons; to warm the kitchen up for a few precious hours, and to make some invariably warm, chocolatey comfort food. Today I holed myself up in there with my laptop, my new camera and some seriously ripe bananas.
When a banana is cut from its tree an enzyme called polyphenoloxidase, in the presence of oxygen, activates in-built defence mechanisms called phenols. Their purpose is to fend off insects and microbes and the brown colour is produced as a side effect to this process.
When ripe bananas are on offer for cheap, or even better for free I am unable to turn them down which leads to a range of brown to black fruit accumulating on top of the fridge repelling insects and humans alike. Every now and then they are scrambled into action in the form of a smoothie, milkshake, or banana bread/cake.
Today I used Nigel Slater’s recipe for ‘Black Banana Cake’;
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
- 175g/6oz sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
- 75g/2½oz hazelnuts
- 2 free-range eggs
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- 2 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
- drop vanilla extract
- 175g/6oz good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips
- a little demerara sugar
I made some changes to correspond with what I had in my cupboards. Unfortunately, Nigel’s nuts got axed, I used a mix of muscovado and caster sugar and 3 smallish bananas which came to about 290g.