Sunday, 15 January 2012

philosophical questions about two over ripe bananas

the trouble is that when something is very expensive one minute and then it's suddenly very cheap it's hard for me to always stay rational..for instance last week i bought a 1.5 kilo bag of bananas for $2..snaffled it up i did with a slightly heightened sense of accomplishment..come on..they were around $14/k a few weeks ago..up there on the stock exchange as listed commodities..

i'm aware that bargains are usually bargains for a reason especially when it comes to big bags of things in green grocery shops..but i had a bit of a cursory feel of the bananas through the plastic bag and they seemed fine enough for eating and freezing for smoothies..but..and you knew a but was coming..when i opened the bag up at home there were two bananas that had eluded my soft banana detection strategy..and they weren't just a bit soft they were squishy soft..

they sat on my kitchen bench for a day or two while i pondered their demise..and it was then that i started to ask myself the big questions and i had conversations with myself that went along these lines..

question 1 :should i just eat them and get over the repulse factor?

i am being precious in being so turned off by something as inoffensive as a mushy banana..if i was really hungry i would walk on my knees to a banana plantation for an over ripe's an insult to the really hungry people in the world to not eat them..

question 2 ..should i throw them on the compost heap?

apparently bananas make good compost..they are full of wonderful nutrients that do good things to the soil and if my soil is good then my vegetable crops will be good and then i'll be good..or at least nutritionally good..

question 3 ..should i throw them in the bin?

now this question didn't really come up for me because i haven't thrown anything compostable in the bin for decades but nevertheless if i am going to debate the bananas' demise then i need to make sure i've covered every contingency..

question 4..should i give them away?

this is another question that didn't come up..i don't know anyone i don't like enough to wrap two squishy bananas up in quality paper with a matching gift card and give them to them..i could give them away as a joke just wouldn't be funny..

question 5..should i make a banana cake?

this is usually the default demise for the soft banana..but question 5 opened up a whole lot of other questions for me..for instance..
question 5a..what is the sense in turning two bananas worth $0.40 into a cake..there are other ingredients to be taken into consideration that cost a lot more than those two bananas..
question it a saving to make a cake? this question seems the same as question 5a..except saving here means saving them from the other demises listed in questions 1-4..
question i want to eat banana cake? yes i do because i want to make a recipe i saw with banana and coconut the other day somewhere if only i can find the recipe again..and i love eating cake especially with a cup of tea in the afternoon after a day in the garden and i love the fact that i am rescuing two forlorn's an emotional issue that has no relationship to economics..and no i don't want to eat cake because nutritionists tell us it's not that good for us..although they also say we can eat everything in moderation..

well what happened to those bananas i hear you ask? it wouldn't be much of a photo opportunity if i had composted them..imagine a photo of two forlorn bananas sitting on top of my rotting compost heap..not a bad photo if i'd eaten them..that's if you like ugly what's left? cake? yes..i made cake..i know you guessed that anyway..i found the recipe i mentioned in's from a blog called 'technicolour kitchen'..but as usual i made a few changes, this time, because i was short of or missing ingredients..for that reason i have included the recipe..i've put asterisks where i've made changes to the recipe and noted the changes underneath the method section..


banana and coconut cake with lemon* icing  



280 gms plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
100 gms unsalted butter softened and 1 tbs olive oil*
175 gms castor* sugar*
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 mashed over ripe bananas*
3 tbs milk with a squeeze of lemon juice*
3/4 cup desiccated coconut*


icing sugar*
lemon juice*

preheat oven to 180 deg c..grease and/or line a 21 cm x 8 cm x 7.5 cm loaf tin*..

sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt..

cream butter, oil and sugar until well creamed..add eggs one at a time beating for 1 minute after adding each egg..

add vanilla and mix well..

add half of the flour mix, the banana and the milk and mix on a low speed briefly..add the remaining flour and mix until just  incorporated..

remove bowl from mixer and mix in coconut by hand..

put the batter into the tin and bake for an hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer..i placed brown paper over the top of the cake at about the 45 minute mark because it was well browned but not cooked when tested with a was cooked after an hour..

remove from oven when cooked and cool on a cake rack in the tin for 10 or so minutes..

remove from tin and allow to cool..

mix enough icing sugar and lemon juice to make the icing to the desired consistency

ice cake and sprinkle with extra coconut*

notes: the original recipe called for:

a 22 cm x 12 cm x 7 cm tin was fine

113 gms butter.. i didn't have enough so i used a little olive oil to make up the deficit to no ill effect

200 gms  granulated sugar..i used castor sugar and i used less because i don't like overly sweet cakes etc

1 cup mashed banana..i didn't measure but my two bananas mashed was not a cup

3 tbs yoghurt..i didn't have yoghurt so i substituted it with the milk and lemon juice

3/4 cup sweetened coconut..i've never seen this product in melbourne..but even so i would prefer to use desiccated coconut..

1 cup of sifted icing sugar and lime juice..i didn't measure my icing ingredients and i sprinkled the icing with desiccated coconut..


i liked this recipe a lot..visually it's appealing because the slices are nice and high and as you can see it slices well.. texture wise it has an appealing moist density..and it tastes good too..although i'm looking forward to a stronger banana flavour when i make it again with the 1 cup of banana stated in the original recipe..i can't comment on it's keeping quality because there won't be any left at the end of 24 hours post baking..

happy week everyone..x


  1. Make cake! Always make cake!
    I like the sound of your banana and coconut cake. I'll have to try this.
    For a change from plain banana cake I sometimes add choc it a whole new dimension.... :)
    Enjoy that last slice...

  2. Don't like bananas myself but cake (5) seems a good option or the finding of someone who likes brown bananas(4). I bet the cake tastes even better for being a bargain!

  3. hi gooseberry jam..chocolate would certainly amp it up a son would love it then..

    a bargain certainly adds that extra dimension thrifty household..:)

  4. Cake, cake cake Jane.... or at a pinch smoothies, (which I've also been turning into iceblocks for The Monkeys.)
    There is a wrinkle nose factor with a particularly squishy banana isn't there.

    1. yum..banana ice clever are you..i might have to make some for the big kid in the house..:)

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    3. Your cake looks beautiful! I'm glad you liked the result.