Having bananas that need to be used up is something that hardly ever happens in this household. Although I don't eat them, my husband eats one for breakfast, every day, without fail, but no more than that. So I know I need seven bananas a week and that is what I buy, every week. Except for last week, when I was tempted by a large bag of single ripe bananas at half price. There were two bananas left by the end of the week, so banana bread beckoned me. After looking at several recipes, and finding I didn't have any walnuts in the store cupboard, I decided to make a banana and date loaf.
I based my recipe on this one, found at Cake Recipe, although I made a few minor changes. My bananas weren't quite as big as those stipulated in the recipe, so I added 50g sour cream; I used sunflower oil instead of melted butter; added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and left out the walnuts. My cake took about 10 minutes longer to bake than the recipe suggested, but that could have been down to a differently shaped loaf tin - some are short and deep, some longer and shallower - or the changes I made to the recipe.
Ingredients - 350g bananas (weighed with skins on); 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 300g SR flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 125g caster sugar; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 125ml sunflower oil; 2 large eggs; 50g sour cream; 175g chopped dried dates, crushed brown sugar cubes for topping.
The method is standard - mash bananas with lemon juice; mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another; combine the two bowls of ingredients, and the bananas, without over-mixing, then fold in the chopped dates. Transfer to 2lb loaf tin, sprinkle sugar over surface and bake at 160C for about 70 minutes.
This was a lovely textured loaf, moist but not dense. The pieces of dates had a chewy, toffee-like quality, and added most of the flavour to the cake. My husband complained that it didn't taste of bananas, but I don't think banana cakes ever really do.
It was nice to butter the slices of cake, but they were moist enough to be eaten without added butter, if calories are a big consideration.