If it is one thing I am consciously making an effort to do this year, it is to try to waste as little food as possible. I am usually quite good in the waste not, want not department. Soups or risottos are cobbled together out of odd bits of veg hanging around in the fridge, chicken carcasses are simmered for stock, stale bread is cut up for croutons or panzanella and if it too hard for me to use, it is soaked in a little water and given to the chickens, who also eat all of our green scraps.
Odd spoonfuls of cream, creme fraiche or natural yoghurt get added to pasta dishes or cakes. Leftover meat goes in pies or curries and what food cannot be eaten by us, the dog, or the chickens gets taken down the end of the garden to replenish the compost bins.
Saying all that, I have noticed that lately I seem to be putting a lot of fruit into the compost bucket.
My son loves bananas but he is rather fussy and if I put one in his school lunch box that happens to get knocked slightly, resulting in a brown mark on the yellow skin, I can guarantee the uneaten piece of fruit will still be in there when he comes home. When questioned on why the banana has returned without being eaten, he will comment that the said perfectly fine banana was ‘mouldy’. The lonely banana will then sulkily lounge about on the worktop for a couple of days, trying desperately to catch a sympathetic eye, until it eventually gives up, goes completely brown and is consigned to the dreaded blue bucket, to end its life being devoured by bacteria and fruit flies.
I must admit I do not like the flavour or texture of over ripe bananas very much and I am not a huge fan of banana cake, so I’m not much help either when it comes to rescuing the poor banana, but I did not have the heart to throw a whole bunch away the other day so I decided to do something with them that we would all like.
I came up with the idea of these brownies, after all even I like bananas with chocolate ( I have been caught on more than one occasion eating a banana and Nutella sandwich to the horror of my chocolate spread hating other half).
I was more than pleased with the result, if fact a bit too pleased as I have eaten rather more than my fair share, strictly for taste testing you understand.
- 50g Good Quality Dark Chocolate or Chips
- 50g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 250g Unsalted Butter
- 400g Caster Sugar
- 4 Eggs, whisked
- 100g Self Raising Flour
- 2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
- 2 Bananas, sliced thinly lengthways
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- Line a 8 x 12in baking tray with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 170c (fan)
- Put the chocolate, cocoa, butter and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Take off the heat, add the eggs and stir until combined, Fold in the flour then mix in the mashed bananas. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Lay the sliced bananas on the top.
- Put in the oven and cook for approx 35-40 mins, until firm.
- Towards the end of cooking, put the maple syrup and remaining butter in a small pan and heat gently until combined.
- When the brownies are cooked, remove from the oven and gently brush over the warm maple syrup mixture.
- Leave to cool in the pan before cutting.