After a dozen or so years as the stayed, conservative banker, my friend Jen decided to chuck it in for a job on a cruise ship. Well, truth be told, she wasn't all that conservative...but, you know, when your corporate colours are navy blue and cream, how wild and crazy can you be at work?
For the next three or so months she'll be sailing the high seas, doing the Mexico-California-Alaska route, telling people where to find the bingo, the buffet, the formal dining room, the other buffet, the gym and yes, the other buffet. Then she does her real job...telling people people what to do, and how to do it.
The change was a bit of a whirlwind...I think she had 10 days to settle her affairs before she flew out to the States. This meant she had a condo full of food that needed to be eaten or given away. So what do you do when you have litres of alcohol and kilos of food that need to be eaten? You throw a condo-warming-and-going-away party (she never did get around to the condo warming when she bought it six months ago). The rule (which I totally ignored) was to not bring any food.
How could I follow such a missive? I brought a squidgey chocolate loaf and a pina colada ice cream to share. I'm still perfecting the recipe...when it's good enough to be posted, you know it will show up.
A good crowd turned up--most of whom I'd only previously met through stories. Lots of "Oh! You're Jasmine!" with lots of "Oh! You're (insert name here)."At the end of the night when I packed up my things to return home from Toronto, little parcel came with me. A bunch of very, very, very ripe bananas. I of course, forewarned of this post.
So, what do we do with overripe bananas?
Well, I used this opportunity to expand my banana cake repertoire. I have an ol' faithful recipe which morphed from a Nigella recipe--it's fantastic, but I'm always looking for something new.
I found this one from Dorie's Baking: From my home to yours. Unsurprisingly it was excellent (all the recipes I've tried have been fabulous). A good, moist crumb, perfect for tea..or breakfast...or a midnight snack. I topped the cake with a makeshift topping comprised of some of the pina colada ice cream mixed with cream cheese--I thought the tropicallness of the topping matched with dried mangoes I mixed into the batter. Very nummy.
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake, from Baking: From my home to yours.
200g ap flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp vanilla salt
75g softened butter
150g light brown sugar
2 overripe, medium-large bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp almond extract
175g yoghurt (one small pot)
125g dried mangoes, chopped
Putting it together:
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and prepare one 22cm/9"round springform pan.
Sieve together the flour, bicarb and salt; set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and almond. Add the bananas and give the wet bowl a good stir. Incorporate the flour and the yoghurt into the wet bowl in alternate additions, stirring after each addition (start off with the flour, then add some yoghurt and then repeat twice more). Fold in the fruit and pour into the pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly.
tags: Dorie Greenspan
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