Black, blighted and limp they may be, but don’t throw those overripe bananas away. This is a great recipe for using them up. In fact, really ripe fruits lend much more flavour to a cake than under-ripe ones. I pop overlooked bananas into the freezer until I have sufficient to make a cake. They go even blacker and I do get the odd sideways glance from anyone who comes across them. However, any dubious comments are withdrawn when a freshly baked banana cake is up for grabs.
- Yield: 12 Servings
- 225 g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
- 125 g soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas (250–300 g when peeled)
- 150 ml plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g plain or milk chocolate, roughly cut into 1.5 cm chunks
- 23 cm garland or ring mould, well greased, or a 20cm round cake tin, lightly greased and base-lined with baking parchment
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Sift together the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, using a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk, until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour with each.
- Mash the bananas to a thick purée and beat into the mixture. Stir in the yoghurt and vanilla extract. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour, followed by the chocolate pieces.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it evenly with the back of the spoon. If using a ring mould, tap it firmly on the work surface to level the mixture. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the cake is well risen and will spring back into shape when lightly touched.
- Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cold, this cake will keep for 3–4 days in an airtight tin.