I don’t know about you but every week we buy a bunch of green bananas with the intention of eating them as they ripen yet every week we blink twice, and they’re all verging on black. As much as we love classic banana bread, its good to have a few more recipes up your sleeve to transform black bananas into something tasty. Here at the Kitchen Partners we’ve put together three recipes to inspire your taste buds

1. Nigel Slater’s Black Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g/6oz sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
  • 75g/2½oz hazelnuts
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 2 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
  • drop vanilla extract
  • 175g/6oz good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips
  • a little demerara sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20x12cm/8x5in loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars until light and coffee coloured. This is best achieved in a food mixer.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts, rub them in a tea towel to remove their skins, then grind quite finely. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
  4. Peel the bananas and chop them into small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract, bananas and chocolate chips into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to overmix.
  5. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar. Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly

2. James Martin Caramel banana shortbread

Ingredients

For the caramel

  • 200g/7oz unsalted butter
  • 100g/7oz caster sugar
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans condensed milk

For the shortbread

  • 250g/8¾oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus an extra spoonful
  • 150g/5¼oz caster sugar
  • 150g/5¼oz cornflour
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • 4 large bananas, peeled and sliced

To serve

  • caramel sauce
  • banana ice cream
  • fresh mint

Method

  1. For the caramel, place the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously, to make the caramel. As soon as the mixture thickens and begins to smell of caramel, remove from the heat.
  2. For the shortbread, preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Sift the cornflour and plain flour into the bowl. Mix and gently knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
  4. Line a 20cm/8in x 30cm/12in baking tin with non-stick baking parchment. Roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the tin and lay it inside, pressing it neatly into the edges.
  5. Spread three quarters of the condensed-milk caramel evenly over the base (the rest will keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to two weeks). Lay the banana slices over the caramel and then crumble the remaining third of the dough over the top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. The caramel should have bubbled up a little among the dough and the top of the shortbread should be golden-brown. Leave it to cool in the tin for five minutes before cutting it into squares. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  7. To serve, reheat the shortbread squares. Serve with banana ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint.

3. Paul A Young’s Banana and chocolate brownie pudding

Ingredients

For the rum and raisin sauce

  • 100g/3½oz raisins (or sultanas)
  • 50ml/2fl oz rum (or brandy or whisky)
  • 100g/3½oz salted butter
  • 100g/3½oz unrefined light muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 100g/3½oz double cream

For the banana chocolate brownie pudding

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/9oz unrefined caster sugar (or any sugar you have)
  • 75g/2¾oz golden syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 275g/9¾oz dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, (or any chocolate you have) broken into small pieces
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 70g/2½oz plain flour

Method

  1. To make the sauce, soak the raisins in the rum in a small bowl for 2–3 hours.
  2. To make the pudding, preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Grease a 15x10cm/6x4in baking dish or four individual pudding basins.
  3. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in saucepan until bubbling. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and mix well until melted. Add the eggs, beat well until smooth and then add the bananas. Add the flour and mix well. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 25–30 minutes. It should still have some wobble when it comes out of the oven.
  4. To continue making the sauce, bring the butter, sugar and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add the cream and mix well. Stir in the rum and raisins. While the sauce is warm, pour over the pudding and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona