I know bananas are not grown in Bulgaria but they are available in the markets – just like in the UK, and I thought I’d share as this is one of my favourite recipes because it’s so easy to make, has basic ingredients which are commonly available, is great for using up bananas that are past their best and I always get good results.
2 organic eggs
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp yogurt
8oz/225g self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice or nutmeg
4oz/100g sultanas (optional)
Turn the oven on 350F/180C/Gas 4 and grease a 1lb/450g loaf tin.
Cream the margarine and sugar until sugar is dissolved and the smooth consistency is light and fluffy (I use an electric whisk to save time).
Beat 2 eggs and add gradually with a little sieved flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Don’t worry if it does, simply add more flour and continue.
Stir the yogurt into the mashed bananas and combine.
Sieve the flour and spice over the mixture and fold in. Think about scooping air in with the flour and the lighter your folding the fluffier your cake will be. Carefully stir in sultanas and pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Smooth the mixture into the edges of the tin, level and bake for 1 to 1 and a half hours.
To check if done, insert a knife vertically in the centre, all the way to the bottom and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If cake mixture is smeared on the knife, then return the loaf tin to oven for another 10 minutes and check again. As the base is usually the last to cook, you can prevent the top over-browning by covering with foil.
When completely cooked through, insert a knife vertically down between the cake and the tin edges. Then, holding the 2 short edges with an oven cloth, bang the tin on a flat surface (ensuring it’s not one that will get damaged!). This loosens the cake base. After a few quick ‘bangs’ the cake should work itself loose and jump in the tin. Tip out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before carving the cake as you would bread and, if you’re feeling naughty, serve warm with a spread of butter. Relax on the balcony with a Turkish coffee. Be warned though, this is best kept in an airtight container in the fridge and needs to be eaten within 5 days!