The story of banana.
You walk into the supermarket, pick up a bunch of bananas because it is in season and is cheap, even you don’t like them that much. You don’t buy a big bunch because you know you can never finish them before they go off. So you snap a full bunch in half, you only want five, not three or four, because three is too little to justify how cheap they are, four is even number and you never buy things in even number, so five it is. You come home with the bananas, you snap one off and eat it. It is fruit, you feel good about yourself by eating it. The next day, you eat another one. It was just okay and won’t be in a hurry to have another one. The day after, you have totally forgotten about them. You only remember about the bananas days later when a strong piquant aroma hit your nose that immediately transport you to a wet market in Thailand. The three remaining bananas are now soft and squishy, their skins are no longer yellow but covered in black spots like measles. Tiny fruit flies are circling the bananas like vultures on roadkill. They are on the verge of heading into the bin. But wait! You refuse to throw them away and being wasteful despite you can barely look at their deformed appearance. With one hand pinching your nose, you gingerly pick them up by the stalk, like a SWAT team trying not to detonate a hand grenade, and carefully transfer them to the freezer where they will put to sleep for many lightyears.
One day, you walk into the supermarket. You pick up a bunch of bananas because it is on the way out of season so you thought you better get some before they become expensive, even you don’t like them that much. You don’t buy a big bunch because you know you can never finish them before they go off. So you snap a full bunch in half, you only want five, not three or four, because three is too…… Hang on! This all sound too familiar! At that exact moment, you only just remember that you still have three manky bananas hibernating in the freezer. You come home with the fresh bananas, but you are more interested in that three dead ones in the freezer. You take them out, they are no longer bananas, they are three black ice blocks shaped of bananas. You put the three mummified bananas under the sun to defrost them. As the funky juices slowly leaking out, the aliens within are threatened to burst out of the black skins, you are frantically trying to look for the best recipe on internet to revive them before it’s too late. Then you found one. You quickly set up the workstation without haste, the power is on, the oven is slowly burning like inferno, you whip the butter, eggs and sugar like there’s no tomorrow. It is time to retrieve them now unidentified objects from the sun, you cut through the skins and squeezed out the liquified flesh. In one swift move, you tip everything into the sweet whirlpool and let it engulfed by waves upon waves of buttercream. And then, everything is smooth….
You let out a sigh of relief and smile. Another banana saved.
Banana & Walnut Bread
Cooking time – 1.5 hours
125g butter, softened at room temperature
165g sugar (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 overripe bananas
150g (1 cup) plain flour
100g (2/3 cup) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
3 tablespoons sour cream
100g walnuts, crushed into smaller pieces
1 fresh banana, for decoration (optional)
Heat oven to 180C. Grease and line a loaf tin (21 x 11 x 6cm) with baking paper, about 5cm taller up the sides. Mash the banana in a bowl using a fork and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and pale, about 2-3 minutes. Turn speed down to medium-low, add vanilla extract, then eggs, one at a time, beat until well combined. Then add mashed banana while still beating.
Turn the speed to low, add both flours, a tablespoon at a time, keep beating until no lumps. Then add the bicarb soda and sour cream, and finally the walnuts. Beat no more than 10 seconds then turn the stand mixer off.
Pour the cake batter into the tin. Cut a thin slice of the fresh banana lengthwise and place on top of the cake. Bake in oven for 1.5 hours, check it at 1 hour mark, cover it with tin foil if the top is browned too quick. Insert a skewer in the centre of the cake and it should come out clean if is cooked. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes and then the bread out of the tin and let cool on wire rack.