The darker, softer and blacker the better. When you're making banana bread, only the most overripe bananas will do. Why? The first reason is sweetness.
As bananas ripen, starch is converted to sugar so you get a loaf that is sweet and moreish.
From a practical standpoint, super-ripe bananas are easier to mash so you can get a nice uniform texture.
The banana puree blends in with the other ingredients - the sugar, butter, eggs and flour mixture - beautifully.
Invariably, I have a few bananas lurking around that turn dark seemingly overnight. They’re the perfect candidates for banana bread.
If I’m not in the mood for baking, I toss them into the freezer and pull them out on a day when I am.
Traditionally, banana bread has nuts but this recipe features prunes. They add an extra bit of sweetness to the cake and marry well with the bananas. You could replace the prunes with desiccated coconut or nuts but I recommend giving them a go.
I bake these in mini loaf tins as they're perfect to give as gifts or again, to store in the freezer.
Banana prune bread
Makes 3 14 x 8 cm loaves
260g plain flour plus extra for flouring the tins
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
115g butter plus extra for greasing the tins
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 tsp vanilla
100g pitted prunes, diced
Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and flour the loaf tins.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Mix in the beaten eggs. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla.
Fold in the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix well and stir in the prunes.
Spoon into greased and floured tins. Bake for around 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.