When I returned from my jaunting at the weekend I was met by the sad sight of two dead bananas in the fruit bowl. Not just on the turn, or a bit spotty, but dead. And they’d taken half a lemon with them.
Now, we all know that the only thing a dead banana is good for is baking. Usually I turn to my go-to recipe for banana bread but I decided to go for something a little different which I’ve had bookmarked for a while.
I think I ever so slightly over cooked these, so I’ve adjusted the baking time to reflect that. Brownies and blondies are tricky animals – you want them crusty on top and gooey in the middle and these were tending towards the cakey in the outer pieces. I also have upped the cinnamon on the original recipe, but then I am a cinnamon fiend, so feel free to turn it back down. It’s subsequently occurred to me that these would be fantastic with pecans rather than hazelnuts and also that chunks of white chocolate running through might be quite tasty – although given how sweet these little beauties are already this might push them over the edge.
Oh, and also, these are seriously good as a pudding – try blasting them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then serving with half fat crème fraiche and a trickle of golden syrup or toffee sauce. Divine.
I’ve suggested cutting these into sixteen pieces, but, to be honest they are sweet enough that twenty would probably do as well – this would reduce them to 4 pro points each which is well worth it.
2 dead bananas, mashed
125g unsalted butter
325g light brown sugar
150g plain flour
2 scant tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
50g chopped hazelnuts (or any other nut you happen to fancy)
Makes 16, 5 pro points per portion
Although easy to make, these blondies to require a few different bowls. So be prepared for some washing up while they are in the oven.
Speaking of the oven, preheat to 180. And line a square baking tin – 8 by 8 should give you a decent depth.
In a saucepan, over a low heat, melt together the butter and the sugar until it is liquid gold. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sieve together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Lightly beat the eggs together with the vanilla essence. Pour in the cooled butter and sugar, stir, add the chopped nuts and mashed banana and stir again until well combined.
Now gently mix in your dried ingredients. You will be presented with quite a loose batter. Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for around 20 minutes and check – the top should be golden and crusty and there should be a slight wobble to the cake which will set as it cools. It may require more time but keep an eye on it after the 20 minutes stage.
Allow to cool slightly before turning out and cutting into sixteen pieces. Serve with a cup of tea. Those bananas did not die in vain.