I told myself to be more diligent in updating my blog and so I am trying my best, but sometimes there are just too many plans to keep up with. What’s more it is the holiday season! I know I am being abit ambitious with some of my forthcoming plans but c’est la vie. Now going bananas, am sure everyone love this fruit, I know I do, so do the errrrmm…. monkeys, hey after all we homosapiens are quite alike just different way of thinking and may I say a different “breed”? No offence!! B-) Though there are some that do like “monkeying” around if you know what I mean >*wink*>. Bananas are full of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytonutrients, bananas are the perfect power food, providing a long-lasting burst of energy to fuel your busy, active life. Pack a banana wherever you go and you’ll always have a quick, convenient source of nutrition to pick you up and keep you going. I love it for breakfast or as a snack when we go hiking. There are various ways to eat a banana, you can cook or bake it. Even when you think you have too much bananas leftover in the pantry, you can make them into cakes, muffins, Asian desserts, breads, I can go on! The thing about making bananas into desserts make sure they are really ripe. Its ok if they have some black spots, all the more when baking, the aroma of ripe bananas just wafts through the air! If making Asian desserts just make sure they are ripe but not overripe, if they need to be steamed, baked or simmered in a sauce. Else you will end up with mushy bananas! Another tip is when it starts to ripe and the black spots are present, keep it in the refrigerator this slows the process of ripening too fast, especially when you live in the tropics like me.
Ever bought banana cakes or bread outside and sometimes it smells strangely of banana essence? You do not need any essence except vanilla extract, as the fragrant smell of ripe bananas just simply fuses together with the mixture and heat during baking. Plus most of the time the store bought banana cakes do not have the moist feel or taste of bananas in it, after all bananas are not costly cannot fathom why they stinge with it. This lovely recipe is adapted from Bill Granger’s Open Kitchen. The recipe is simple, and the use of maple syrup blended together with butter and brown sugar is just perfect. The scent of maple syrup always seems very homely to me. Its a warm cosy feeling no?
Anyway I love recipes by Bill Granger he makes it seem so simple even when it seems difficult. His style is no fuss and yet delicious. “I learned to cook in a domestic kitchen which makes my food simple and instinctual.”- Bill Granger. He is a self taught cook (always inspired by self taught cooks who succeed!) whose joyful approach to cooking is an essential element in his enduring popularity. There are many self taught cooks and bakers out there who have exceptional hidden talents yet to be exposed, I am one of those self taught ones as well, heheheh! Am sure any of you out there would agree that everyone have their own style of cooking and baking, like my chef instructor said, 3 recipes in class, 30 students, but every turnout is different. I could not agree more.
Banana Maple Upside Down Cake – adapted by Bill Granger’s Open Kitchen
50g (1 3/4 oz) unsalted butter plus 100g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened, extra
55g (1 1/4 cup) brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
3-4 bananas sliced lengthways
230g (1 cup) caster sugar(superfine)
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
155g (1 1/4 cup) plain (all purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). To make the maple syrup topping, place butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until the sugar melts and the syrup is rich and golden.
Pour the syrup into a 23cm (9inch) greased or non-stick springform cake tin and arrange the sliced bananas, cut side down, over the base of the tin.
To make the cake, place the 100g butter, and caster sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at the time, beating after each addition, then add the vanilla extract.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, gently fold through the mixture. Spoon the batter evenly over the bananas and caramel and smooth the top with a spatula.
Place the cake in the oven on a baking tray to catch any escaping caramel and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly. (I let mine cool completely)
Transfer to a large serving plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
FoodNote: Every oven is different when baking, there are different hot spots in every individual oven, so you know your ovens well ladies, bake according to the time your oven knows best.
I am sure this will be a family favourite because I did not bake mine just once, the family love it, and B, he is just contented being a husband who gets to eat all my desserts!