Tiny banana tartes tatin
The caramelised banana in this dessert will remind you of barbecued bananas on long summer evenings.
250g caster sugar
10g unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
About 4 large, very ripe bananas
320g all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen
2 tbsp icing sugar
150ml double cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
2 Mix the caster sugar and 3 tbsp water in a deep-sided saucepan. Place over a high heat and leave until the sugar caramelises; don’t stir. Once the sugar has turned a deep amber and the bubbles reduce in size, remove the pan from the heat and stir in another 2 tbsp water, along with the butter and salt. Keep stirring until the mixture has thoroughly combined, then divide the caramel equally into a lightly greased 12‑hole muffin tray.
3 Chop the bananas into 1cm-thick discs. Place 3 banana coins flat on the caramel in each muffin hole. You might need to squash them in a little bit, but don’t worry, this will only add to the flavour.
4 Unroll the pastry and cut out 12 discs using a 75mm-diameter cookie cutter. Place each one on top of the bananas, gently tucking the sides down. Prick a small hole in the top, then bake for 35 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and turned dark golden brown.
5 Remove from the oven and immediately prise each tart out of its hole, inverting it on a cooling rack so the bananas are on top. Use a fork, working it down the sides and scooping the tarts up from underneath. You will need to do this quickly, before the caramel has a chance to harden and stick the tarts to the tin. Allow to cool.
6 Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft, floppy peaks. Add the vanilla and icing sugar, and whisk again. Top each tarte tatin with a dollop of cream and serve.
Adapted from John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Everyday and Every Mood (Headline)
Bananas in spiced yoghurt
From Hyderabad, India, this dish, kela pach chadi, is usually served as an accompaniment to a curry meal, but is also a very good partner for kebabs.
3 large ripe bananas
3 tbsp freshly grated or desiccated coconut
300ml plain yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
A pinch of chilli powder (optional)
1 tsp ghee or oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 Peel and slice the bananas.
2 If using desiccated coconut, sprinkle 1 tbsp hot water over it and mix until the coconut is evenly moistened.
3 Season the yoghurt with lemon juice, sugar, salt and chilli power and stir in the bananas and coconut.
4 In a small saucepan heat the ghee and fry the cumin and mustard seeds until the mustard seeds pop.
5 Pour this over the yoghurt mixture and fold in, then serve.
The Yoghurt Cookbook by Arto Der Haroutunian (Grub Street)
Gluten-free banana bread pancakes
This recipe is perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast, because your food processor does all the work.
65g gluten-free oats
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
1 banana, very ripe
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp olive oil
160ml nut milk
2 tsp maple syrup
Coconut oil or ghee
1 banana, sliced
A handful of walnuts, chopped
Dark chocolate, grated
1 In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they resemble a sand-textured powder (do not over-process, or you’ll end up with walnut butter). Remove the powdered walnut, then pulse the oats until you get a coarse flour. Place the walnut and oats in a large bowl. Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt, then stir.
2 Blend the ripe banana and all the wet ingredients in the food processor.
3 Add the blended wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until the two just come together. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
4 Heat a little coconut oil (or ghee) in a frying pan over a medium heat and drop in 2-3 large spoonfuls of batter. Spread slightly with the back of the spoon to even out the batter. Turn the heat down to low. Cook until the underside is crispy and brown – they take longer than regular pancakes – then flip over to cook the other side.
5 Place the cooked pancakes on a baking tray in a warm oven and cover with foil while you make the remaining pancakes (this will give them time to firm up a little in the middle).
6 Serve with maple syrup, banana slices, chopped walnuts and – for a special treat – grated dark chocolate.
Recipe supplied by Sarah Britton,
Banana curry with cashew rice
This gentle, sweet curry is so quick to make. Use 2-3 plantains instead of the 4 bananas if you prefer, but cook them a bit longer.
300g basmati rice
500g new potatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 green peppers, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp root ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5g curry leaves
4 large under-ripe bananas, sliced
75g creamed coconut, cut into pieces
4 tsp fresh tamarind, sieved and deseeded
125g roasted cashew nuts
Salt and black pepper
1 Start by cooking the rice. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the rice, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is just tender. Drain, rinse with boiling water, drain again well, then return to the saucepan and keep warm over a gentle heat until required.
2 To make the curry, put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for 10‑15 minutes, until just tender, then drain.
3 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid, add the chopped onion and peppers, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
4 Add the mustard seeds, stirring over the heat for a minute or two until they start to pop, then stir in the turmeric, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook for a minute or two longer.
5 Stir in the drained potatoes and the bananas, then add the water, creamed coconut and tamarind. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to cook gently for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the flavours blended. Season with salt and pepper.
6 Quickly add the cashews to the rice and fork through, then serve the rice and curry together on warmed plates.
Elvis loved his peanut butter and banana sandwiches. The myth is that he actually died while eating one, but don’t let that put you off – the King’s favourite snacks were fried, meaning they weighed in at a massive 2,000 calories each. Here, they are more virtuous. Heaven, but also the ultimate power breakfast.
1 thin slice sourdough rye bread
1½ tbsp crunchy peanut butter
½ banana, sliced
1 small square of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 Lightly toast the bread. While it’s still hot, spread it with the peanut butter. Lay on the slices of banana and grate over the chocolate.
Baked banana and Greek yoghurt pudding
Yoghurt becomes much firmer, almost solid, once it’s been baked, while bananas sweeten to almost caramel. This pudding can be served hot or cold.
4 ripe bananas
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp soft brown muscovado sugar
500g Greek yoghurt
Clear honey, to serve
1 Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
2 Peel the bananas, mash with the lemon juice and sugar, then stir into the yoghurt. Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish about 5cm deep.
3 Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, until the pudding is firm to touch.
4 Remove from the oven and leave to sit for a few minutes, before serving with honey drizzled over the top.
The Kitchen Revolution by Rosie Sykes, Polly Russell and Zoe Heron(Ebury Press). To buy a copy for £20 (RRP £27.50) with free UK p&p go to guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846
Banana batter cake with coconut caramel sauce
This Asian variation on sticky toffee pudding is popular with just about everyone. It’s one of those desserts that you offer to share with someone and then wish you had the whole plate to yourself. Definitely worth saving room for.
150g self-raising flour
115g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
100g butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
140g light brown sugar
Coconut milk, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm-square, high-sided baking tray.
2 Combine the flour, caster sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Mash one of the bananas and whisk together with the egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract.
3 Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
4 Pour into the prepared tray and decorate with the remaining bananas, halved and placed in lines. Sprinkle with the light brown sugar and pour 125ml water on top.
5 Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly. Serve with coconut milk.
Bill’s Everyday Asian by Bill Granger (Quadrille)
Banana and butterscotch loaf
A fail-safe classic laced with decadent butterscotch chocolate chunks.
Makes 1 loaf
175g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
175g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
150g natural yoghurt
150g butterscotch chocolate, roughly chopped
100g pecan nuts, chopped
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
Butter, for greasing
1 Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Grease and line a large loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
2 Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix together.
3 In a separate bowl, beat the muscovado sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy. Carefully stir in the bananas, yoghurt, chocolate and half the pecans, followed by the flour mixture.
4 Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans and the demerara sugar. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5 Leave the loaf to cool in the tin on a wire rack, then turn out and slice. Store in an airtight container – it will keep for up to two days.
Banana ice water
Victorian culinary pioneer Agnes B Marshall published her Book of Ices in 1885. This water ice is one of several fruit-flavoured ices that are simple, yet utterly delicious. Children will eating them as quickly as they can be made.
Makes more than 1 litre
6 ripe bananas
The juice of 2 oranges or lemons
¼ tsp banana essence (optional)
1 Puree the bananas in a blender or food processor. Add the sugar, water, fruit juice and banana essence (if using).
2 Pass through a fine sieve or muslin and freeze overnight. Serve in scoops.
Ices and Ice Creams by Agnes B Marshall (Square Peg)
Chewy dried bananas
A naturally dried banana is packed with flavour and vitamins and this recipes embraces their natural sugars. If you’re not a banana lover, these might change your mind. The flavour is unparalleled. The size of the banana and the amount of dry-time will yield either a soft, chewy, toffee-like banana bite, or a tougher, liquorice-like chip.
Makes about 140g
4 ripe bananas
1 Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. Cut the bananas into quarters lengthways.
2 Cut these widthways into thirds or quarters, depending on the size of your bananas. Each banana will yield 12-16 pieces.
3 Place the pieces skin side down (cut side up) in a single layer on wire cooling racks with baking trays underneath. Place in the oven.
4 Keep your oven door slightly ajar with an oven glove. Allow the bananas to bake for 8‑12 hours, depending on their thickness, your desired chewiness, and your oven temperature. Check on them every couple of hours, turning them halfway to unstick them from the cooling rack.
5 Allow to cool completely before eating. They will keep for months.
Recipe supplied by Lisa Preston-Hsu, storyofakitchen.com