Two ripe banana recipes that aren’t bread!

I didn’t bake banana bread during lockdown but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have an oversupply of ripe bananas. As usual, they were peeled and frozen … intended for smoothies and other banana-related uses.
Today I went to get some bread out of the freezer and realised it was full of frozen bananas. I had planned to make buttermilk scones so I used the bananas instead, to add moisture and flavour, and made half with choc chips, for variety.

I ate the plain ones with butter and raspberry jam but now I’m thinking how good they would be with crisp streaky bacon and Maple syrup …

Still stuck with a surfeit of overripe fruit, today I made banana choc chip muffins, adding buttermilk and using soft dark brown sugar to intensify the chocolate flavour.

Now, instead of bananas, I have a freezer full of banana-flavoured treats for the week.

Banana scones

Ingredients

Makes 6-8

250g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

15g caster sugar

75g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes (or substitute any dairy-free alternative or natural vegetable oil)

2 over-ripe bananas, squashed

1 medium free-range egg, beaten

2 tbsp milk for glazing (or any dairy-free alternative)

50g milk chocolate chips (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together, then add the butter and use your hands or a hand-held pastry blender to rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. You can also use a blender for this – a few quick pulses will do it.

Now add the bananas and the egg, and mix quickly to bring the dough together. At this stage add the chocolate chips, if using (I split the mix and made half with chocolate).

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, lightly dust the top with flour and use a pastry cutter to cut out circles, or simply cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Line a baking tray with parchment and transfer the scones. Use a pastry brush to lightly glaze the scones with milk.

Bake for 10 minutes – if you’ve made large ones they will take a bit longer. They will be brown and dry to the touch.

Give them 5 minutes on the cooling rack before tucking in – the plain ones are good with butter and jam (or bacon and syrup), the chocolate ones would (without doubt) benefit from a spoonful of Nutella.

Banana choc muffins

Ingredients

Makes 12 large or 18 small

225g self-raising flour

55g cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

225g soft dark brown sugar

200-400g over-ripe bananas (tbh you can add as many of you have, you will just end up with more muffins), mashed

30g unsalted butter, melted

1 medium free-range egg

225ml buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)

60g dark chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a muffin tin with papers (or spray the tin liberally with non-stick baking spray)

Sift the flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl.  Add the sugar, bicarb and salt, give it a good stir and then make a well in the centre.

In a jug combine the butter, egg and buttermilk and give it a whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the bananas and choc chips and use a hand mixer, spatula or wooden spoon to mix together as quickly as you can.

You will see that as the buttermilk reacts with the bicarb the mixture starts to open up and develop bubbles.

Quickly fill the muffin tins and bake in the oven for 35 minutes (large) or 18 minutes (small). These are great for school lunchboxes or breakfast on the go.

© Linda Galloway 2020

Banana choc muffins