Ah, the humble banana. One of the original superfoods, this snack in a jacket was providing us with a nutritional boost before those young pretenders like açai and goji berry were even saplings. Technically a herb, the average banana contains hefty doses of vitamins B6 and C as well as a hit of potassium and a decent amount of dietary fibre. In addition they are packed full of complex carbohydrates and score low on the glycaemic index (bonus if you happen to be following Anthony Worrall Thompson’s diet of choice, although I’m not sure if that is a ringing endorsement considering his ample girth and his apparent willingness to lend his name to more products than St. Michael) and 72 million tons of these yellow wonders are consumed every year. In short they are a supremely tasty, healthy and convenient foodstuff, the ultimate fast food.
With this in mind I set about attempting to neutralise the incredible positive effects of the banana by mashing it up and mixing it with quantities of sugar, butter, flour and eggs to make a cake. And what a cake it was. Simple, sweet, light, soft and very banana-y. Perfect for filling that space between lunch and dinner with a mug of tea on a slightly damp Sunday afternoon. I urge you to try this.
Lazy Sunday Banana Cake
(I only have the old fashioned measurements, sorry. But www.onlineconversion.com should see you right if you insist on doing things the metric way)
5oz plain flour
5oz caster sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2oz unsalted butter, cubed
2 (very) ripe bananas, well mashed (imagine you are about to feed them to a baby)
2 eggs, whisked lightly
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Turn on the oven to about 180 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a sufficiently sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and attempt to incorporate it into the dry ingredients with the fingertips. As soon as it looks like it is half mixed, pour in the bananas – if you’ve mashed them enough they should pour, or rather slop, out of the bowl – eggs and vanilla and stir it with sufficient enthusiasm to turn the mixture into something resembling a batter. Pour it into a loaf tin and bake for about 25 minutes, or until it has darkened on the top and cooked within. Eat it hot from the oven with a dribble of plain yoghurt to try to mitigate the fact that you’ve transformed a sensational superfood into a calorific cake.