I am always searching for new things to do with bananas. Oi, no sniggering at the back! I meant baking-wise. It’s a side effect of my extreme fussiness when it comes to bananas. I will only eat them if I’m in the mood and they have not a speck of brown on them. As soon as they start to ripen properly they make me want to vom. So we have a lot of brown bananas knocking around the kitchen! I still want to vom when I'm mashing them into various cakes/muffins but I can put up with it for the greater good. Cake = good.
I swear by a banana muffin recipe from a Weightwatchers recipe book but I wanted to try something a little different this time and came across this recipe for Banana Gingerbread Slices in a massive baking book I own.
4oz/115g soft light brown sugar
10oz/275g plain flour
4 tsps ground ginger
2 tsps mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsps sunflower oil
2 tbsps black treacle
2 tbsps malt extract
4 tbsps orange juice
4 oz/115g raisins
The beauty of this recipe is that it takes substitutions really well and that’s a damn good thing because my baking cupboard does not contain malt extract (I left it out). Or mixed spice (I used cinnamon instead). Or indeed orange juice (we only had grapefruit juice which would not have worked in the same way! I bunged in a bit of milk instead to get it to the normal cake consistency). I also reckon this would be lovely made with part wholemeal flour too – it doesn’t rise much in the oven.
To make it:
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar, spices and bicarb.
Make a well in the centre. Add the oil, treacle, malt extract, eggs and OJ and mix together thoroughly. Mash the bananas into the mixture and stir in the raisins.
Mix well and put in your tin of choice.
The recipe calls for a baking tray but I chose to make it as a loaf cake so used my silicone loaf tin.
Bake at Gas Mark 4/180 C/350 F for about 35-40 min. It comes out looking quite gingerbready so don't worry about it looking dark.
If you use a loaf tin, give it an extra 20-30 mins so it all cooks through properly. You'll probably need to pop some foil over it partway through to avoid burning the top.
Leave it in the tin to cool for 5 mins and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Chop into chunky slices (it’s low fat, you might as well have more of it), make yourself a brew and it’ll disappear sharpish.
As with most of my favourite cake recipes, it doesn't look anything spectacular but it tastes bloody good.