Saturday, 22 January 2011

Wendy Santilhano's banana loaf

So you bought a bunch of bananas, and nobody ate the flipping things. Now they look a bit like this and you're thinking of tossing them out.

Don't throw them out!

Apart from being perfect for this recipe, overripe bananas make by far the best smoothies! Or you could use them in a banoffee pie. Let me know if you need help with either of those two things.

This recipe was given to me in about 1988 by a friend (whose name, as you have probably gathered, is Wendy Santilhano). When I met Wendy, she was working at a university and taking flying lessons. Today, she is one of a very small (but growing) number of female commercial pilots, and flies for South African Airways.

I haven't seen Wendy in years, although we are Facebook friends. I do remember her as a person who loved to cook. And her banana loaf was deservedly held in high regard. I use her recipe whenever I have bananas like the ones in the picture.

And yes, before you ask: yes, that is my coffee mug in the picture at the top of this post. With good reason.

Oven temperature

45ml butter or marg (I always use butter)
250ml sugar
125ml milk
4-6 over-ripe bananas, well mashed (or lightly 'zhoozhed' in a blender, if you have one)
500ml plain (cake) flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
2.5ml vanilla extract
pinch salt

  • Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  • In a larger bowl, beat the marg/butter and sugar together until creamed
  • Add the dry ingredients and the eggs. Beat.
  • Add milk, bananas and vanilla. Beat well.
  • Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour (test with a skewer - the more bananas you've used the longer it will take to bake)
  • Carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and try to wait until it has cooked before eating it.

Try to wait until it has cooled down....
You can eat this plain or with butter. It also makes a great dessert with custard.

And just one last little point. Have you ever written on the peel of a banana with a ballpoint pen (biro)? Give it a try. You won't be sorry.  

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