This was the very first food blog that I began reading back in 2004. I had just started working as an apprentice then (much to my entire family's dismay) and was wildly searching for like-minded people. Unlike the drearily common mentality of Kitchen vs. Floor, blogs gave me a sense of fellowship and I adored the humour and support and being privy to the foodie lives of others, as I had not yet mastered the art of juggling both work and what little life I had outside of work.
Well, as it usually goes, this led to that and I was inspired enough to start my own little recipe blog although I never really quite started writing until just last year. Funnily enough, Johanna is hosting the February edition of WTSIM and I've yet to post about my banana pudding which made an appearance 3 times in the last fortnight due to popular demand. It seems wholly appropriate to make this an acknowledgement of sorts to the lovely woman whose long time blogging efforts first introduced me and led me to appreciate food in a totally different medium.
I advise you to save this recipe as you'll want to pull it out time and time again. It has proven to be extremely popular and it's wonderfully quick to prepare. You simply cream a little butter with a little white sugar and salt in an electric mixer until pale then add a few drops of vanilla extract, an egg and a ripe banana. Continue beating the mix with the paddle attachment until it's all combined. Now slice up another ripe (but not too ripe) banana and toss it in a tablespoon of lemon juice. Drain the excess juice into the batter and stir it through with a cup of self-raising flour and sprinkling of baking powder. Pour it all into a greased and floured cake tin, spread the sliced banana over top, shake on a few good spoonfuls of unrefined cane sugar then cover the whole thing with a mixture of boiling milk, cream and butter. It only takes 30 minutes in the oven and voila!
At 25 minutes - you'll see a noticeable skin forming on the top from all the rich butterfat and milk solids. At 15 minutes - it will begin to bubble up around the sides and you should rotate the pan 180 degrees. At 10 minutes - it will be browning nicely and have risen by about 1" (which is why you'll need a 3" tall pan). In the last few minutes, the bubbling will subside as the liquid is absorbed by the batter beneath. The cane sugar will have formed a light fudgy caramel on the top and your kitchen will be perfumed with the gorgeously seductive aroma of baked bananas.
I like to use a springform tin for ease of removal and to prevent any possible mess i wrap a piece of foil underneath, folding halfway up the sides and sliding it into the oven on a tray. A small amount of baking powder is essential in this recipe to give the pudding a little lift and aeration as the banana would otherwise cause it to be quite dense. If your bananas are larger you can throw a little more into the batter. As the batter bakes, the bananas will cook down and sink to the bottom so as you cut into it, hot banana will ooze out gloriously from underneath to self-sauce your pudding. Hot from the oven, it is a delight served simply with a dollop of cold vanilla yoghurt.
55 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
95 g castor sugar
2 g salt
1 (55 g) egg
6 g vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
15 g lemon juice
126 g self-raising flour
2 g baking powder
85 g cane sugar
125 g milk
125 g cream
50 g unsalted butter
Cream butter, sugar and salt in an electric stand mixer with paddle attachment until pale.
Beat in egg and vanilla until well-incorporated.
Beat in 115 g banana (or 150 g for oozier version) until combined.
Slice remaining banana and toss with lemon juice to coat in a small bowl.
Tip excess lemon juice into the batter.
Sift self-raising flour and baking powder in a bowl to incorporate evenly.
Beat self-raising flour into the batter over low speed.
Pour batter into a greased and lined 8" cake pan.
Spread sliced banana over the top.
Sprinkle over cane sugar in an even layer.
Heat milk, cream and butter in a small pot until boiling then pour directly onto the batter.
Bake at 180ºC for 30-35 minutes or until golden.