Banana Chocolate Loaf or is it a Dozen Muffins or a Pudding?
Just because you use the same ingredients in a recipe doesn’t mean it should turn out the same each time. Most cake recipes can be turned into something else, for example, a Victoria sandwich mix can become fairy cakes or cupcakes (not that I’m a huge cupcake fan). Meringue can be a huge, billowing Pavlova stuffed with fruit and cream; smaller meringues can be sandwiched together with cream and a cherry, or piped small swirls can be served with coffee for an after dinner treat!
This recipe for my banana chocolate loaf is a staple in our house. When my neighbour used to run a cafe, she was forever bringing over manky looking bananas to use in baking.
Bananas freeze really well and although they turn black, the starches in the fruit turn to sugar making them even sweeter. In fact, I have a stash in my freezer ready to be thawed out and turned into cakes.
For this recipe you want to use bananas that are not looking their most glamorous; the darker the better!
I want to show how my banana chocolate loaf recipe can be turned into three different bakes – a loaf, muffins and a pudding just by changing the baking tins.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Ingredients Oven Temp: 180C/Fan 160C/Gas4
8oz/225g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
4oz/100g unsalted butter, softened
4oz/100g caster sugar
4oz/100g chocolate chips
2 large eggs, beaten
2 large bananas, mashed
Squeeze lemon juice
Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
Rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs
Add sugar and chocolate and give it a quick stir with a spoon.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, banana, milk and lemon juice together.
Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients and give it a good stir, it doesn’t matter if you have a few spots of flour. Over mixing will make for a heavy cake.
For the loaf:
Line a buttered 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper (greasing the tin means that the lining will stick to the tin rather than flopping all over the place) and place on the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven for about 3/4hour to an hour. Testing with a skewer for this cake doesn’t work as it always comes out covered in chocolate! When cooked, remove from oven, leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Gently remove from tin and place on cooling rack until cold.
For the muffins:
Line a 12-hole deep muffin tin with paper cases. Dollop in spoonfuls of batter into each case, bake in a pre-heated oven on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes and then pop onto a cooling rack. If you fancy, you can drizzle melted chocolate over the top.
For the pudding:
This will need extra ingredients for the topping.
Sticky Banana Chocolate Pudding
3oz/75g unsalted butter
6oz/150g light brown sugar
4 ripe bananas
Put the butter and sugar into a small saucepan and let it melt gently over a medium heat until the sugar no longer feels grainy and it is well combined.
Give it a quick stir and pour into a greaseproof lined 9″x9″/23cmx23cm baking tin.
Slice the bananas in half lengthwise and arrange them on the sauce cut side down. Pour over batter and place into a pre-heated oven for about 35-45mins.
Remove from oven and cool for 5mins.
Place a serving dish over the top of the tin and carefully tip it up.
Remove the paper and serve the pudding with ice cream, cream or crème fraîche.
(C) Lea Harris, In the Kitchen with @BakersBunny, 2016.