A bunch of over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl is a good excuse to make banana bread before our little friends the fruit flies come out in force to check them out and render them inedible.
We have a few charity bake sales coming up, so I can stash them in the freezer ready for the next deserving cause.
I’m not particularly fond of bananas, or banana bread for that matter, but a few chocolate chips and a subtle hit of cardamom definitely increase their appeal. This is one of those recipes that takes about five minutes to throw together and comes out perfectly every time – my kind of baking.
Although a food processor does make things particularly easy here, if you don’t have one, just mash the bananas with a fork first and then mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
Banana chocolate cardamom cake
Makes 2 loaves, each serving 8 – 10 slices
150g butter or margarine, softened
150g brown sugar (I used Demerara, but any light brown sugar would be fine)
3 very ripe bananas plus 1 extra for decorating
3 tablespoons natural yogurt (or milk is fine if you don’t have yogurt)
340g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
100g plain chocolate chips (or chocolate cut into small chunks)
Extra brown sugar for sprinkling
Pre-heat the oven to 170C and line or grease 2 loaf tins (mine measure 21 x 11 cm).
Put all the ingredients except for the chocolate into the food processor and whiz until smooth. Add the chocolate chips or pieces and pulse for a couple of seconds until mixed in – you don’t want them to get pulverised, though it would still taste good.
If you don’t have a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together, then whisk in the mashed bananas, yogurt (or milk) and beaten eggs until smooth. Tip in the flour and cardamom and fold in with a rubber spatula or metal spoon. Stir in the chocolate chips until mixed through.
Divide between the tins – slice the extra banana and arrange the slices in a line along the length of each loaf, then sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the cakes.
Bake for around 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes – if the cakes are getting too brown, cover loosely with foil for the rest of the cooking time – you want them to be a deep golden brown.
Cool completely before slicing or freezing.