Bananas were extremely expensive in 2006, about three years ago. The price increased across the country by 400-500%, rising as high as $13-35/kg. The normal price was about $2-3/kg before that year. Sometimes we could get good quality bananas below one dollar per kg if supermarkets put them on sale. The increased price of bananas was due to the shortage of banana supply after a severe cyclone that destroyed 80 to 90% of Australia's banana crop. Australia is relatively free of banana pests and diseases, and therefore does not allow bananas to be imported. (Hop over to take a look at the detailed report via wikipedia if interested)
Now, we’re really glad that banana supply is back to normal, yet the price has increased significantly since then.
My family loves eating this healthy fruit very much, to the point that we can’t live without it everyday. So when bananas are on sale or in season, I’d buy as many as we can consume. Then I’ll reserve some to wait them ripe enough and bake this beautiful and tasty banana cake.
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar, white or brown (if you like darker colour, use brown)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (or 1/2 cup, depending on the thickness of the batter)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
- Smashed the ripe bananas in a large bowl with a spoon or process in a food processor. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine melted butter with the smashed bananas. Stir in sugar, whisked egg and vanilla. Add 1/4 cup of the milk first, then combine well. If the batter is too thick, add more and adjust the amount as you go.
- Sprinkle the baking soda and salt in the mixture. Stir in sifted flour, one third at a time. No need to stir too hard, just fold and incorporate all ingredients thoroughly.
- Transfer mixture into a greased 4x8 inch baking pan. Bake for about 1 hour. Test with a needle. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Enjoy!
- If you feel too tired of smashing banana with a spoon, use a food processor. Just process bananas for a few seconds if you’d like to retain some texture.
- I found it’s better not to use an electric mixer for making banana cake. Use a spoon or whisk just to incorporate all ingredients together without over-stirring. The cake would be turned out really soft.