Nowadays, this is how overripe bananas at our home end up. This is probably one of the easiest fool-proof recipe to make. You can use the same batter for either banana muffins or a banana cake. The tried and tested recipe follows.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup melted butter or oil (I use olive oil, i.e. regular olive oil, not extra-virgin)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup maida (all-purpose flour)
- 1 pinch cinnamon, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- Pre-heat the oven at 175 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes. You can use this time to prepare the batter. Time it such that the oven is ready by the time the batter is made. The batter should be put in the oven as soon as it is ready. Keeping the batter lying around once it is made, will waste all the leavening effect that is the centerpiece of baking.
- Grease and dust your baking pan if you are making a cake. Line the muffin cups with paper liners if you are using them or else oil and dust them.
- To start making the batter, use a fork or potato masher for mashing up the bananas.
- Pour the oil/butter into the bananas, stir and mix them together.
- Add the sugar, beaten egg, vanilla essence and mix again. Add the pinch of cinnamon, if you want and mix again.
- Now prepare the dry ingredients. Use a large bowl, put in the maida.
- Add the salt to the maida and mix it well.
- Take a stock of the situation at this point. Is the oven ready? The next two steps will take about 2-3 minutes. If the oven is going to take longer to heat, you can pause at this moment and wait.
- Put the baking soda into the liquid batter and mix properly. At this point the baking soda will start reacting with the bananas and start producing the leavening effect by releasing gases.
- Make a hole in the middle of the bowl containing maida and pour the liquid batter into it. Use a spatula and slowly fold the dry maida into the liquid and just make it all wet. Don’t mix too much. Just ensure that most of the maida is wet. A few dry spots here and there is ok.
- Pour the entire mixture into the cake pan, or if you are making muffins, start spooning them into the muffin cups. Don’t fill up the muffin cups more than half of their depth. These muffins rise well.
- Bake at 175 degrees centigrade. Bake for one hour if making a cake. Bake for 20 minutes if you are making muffins. These bake well in convection ovens. If your OTG doesn’t have a fan, see if your microwave has a convection mode with fan and use that instead. Use simple convection mode in microwave. Don’t try those fancy combo convection+microwave modes.
- As soon as the baking is done, take them out of the oven. Take the cake out of its can after about 5 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. If cooking muffins, take out the muffins after a few minutes and cool them. The would be ready to eat within 10-15 minutes of taking out.