My name is Simon and I’m the Catering Administrator for Kings Park Conference Centre since the beginning of this year and my job is to assist with The Catering Manager to ensure the smooth running of the catering facilities here at the centre. I was asked to share my passion and tips about food with you as I’m real foodie and I love to talk and share opinions and facts about different types of food as well as handy hints about recipes and cooking ideas.
As a busy dad of 3 hungry boys, I’m sure I resonate with you that when I cook and bake for my family, I want to make sure that they try to eat a balanced diet and as healthy as possible. That’s not to say I deny them treats but I try to make the same treats at home but by making it more healthy such as cutting the amount of sugar, using a mixture of wholewheat and plain flour or by simply trying to substitute ingredients to make it healthier without losing flavour or taste.
Being in the industry as well, I naturally despise food waste on all levels and I try to use as much of what is in my fridge and cupboards as possible so that none of it ends up in landfill. Infact, more often than not, I tend to shop at the clearance section, just so that I’m doing my bit to save food waste. I’m sure all of us buy loads of bananas at the beginning of the week only to see it black and blue by the weekend and then we dispose of it no? Please, please don’t! Did you know from over ripe bananas you can make the best ice cream at home or even a flourless breakfast pancake that are both gluten free too! More on these later on.
But this week I’m going to bake one of my children’s favourite, banana cake or bread. Bananas are a great source of Potassium as well as provide great energy boost and of course, is one of your essential 5 a day. This recipe will also help use up any over ripe bananas in your fruit bowl and the cake will stay good in an airtight container for up to a week, which is great for packed lunches. The best thing though is that you’ve made it in house so you know that no artificial colours, flavours, e numbers have been added and you can control the amount of sugar and fat to be added. This cake is also great for me as one of my son hates eggs and this recipe requires it so adding it in knowing that he has consumed it in another form gives me some piece of mind!
- 2-3 over ripe bananas mashed
- 150g self raising flour or 50% wholewheat and 50% SR Flour sifted
- 3 large or 4 medium eggs
- 100g of butter or margarine softened or at room temperature
- 75g of caster sugar
- 1 tspn of baking powder
- Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
- Few banana chips (optional)
- First using a standard loaf tin or even a loose bottom cake tin, grease the inside and line with parchment. Preheat oven to 180 and then cut bananas into chunks and mash into a smooth lumpy mixture (I like the rustic look as well as tasting chunks), set to one side.
2. Then cream the softened butter and sugar together. This is known as the creaming method and quite simply you are using the back of a wooden spoon to press the sugar into the fat. As you keep pressing and stirring, the mixture starts to resemble small puffs of clouds and becomes light and fluffy.
3. Then crack 1 egg into the mixture and beat until the egg is absorbed. Do this with the other 2 eggs and mix well so that it resembles watery batter. Then slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder a bit at a time and stir in thoroughly so that all the flour is absorbed without clumps of flour. Finally fold in the mashed bananas and add the cinnamon or nutmeg if desired. The mixture should resemble a semi smooth batter.
4. Pour into the tin making sure you scrape out every last bit, give the whole tin a good tap on your table so that the mixture goes right into the corners and levels for an even bake. Bake in the oven for 35 mins or until a clean skewer comes out, cool in the tin for around 20 mins before removing to cool on a wire rack. Lastly you can decorate by placing a few banana chips on the top.
Your only job is to stop yourself from demolishing it in one sitting!