Thursday, June 17, 2010

Torta Di Banana (Banana Cake) ... or is it Banana Bread?

Mentioned 'Banana', most people would love this fruit, especially children (give them to my kid, he will eat almost ½ kg!). Banana comes with variety of colors, sizes and tastes. Basically, bananas are classified into 2 types or groups as 'Dessert Banana' (yellow, soft and sweet when fully ripe) and 'Cooking Banana' (mostly used as green bananas in curry, stew and snacks). Banana is famous among athletes as energy booster besides keeping any hunger pangs at bay :-D In fact, the whole Banana Tree has many uses besides as food (I had a recipe using the Banana Flower in this blog), fertilizer, religious ceremonies and also a new science discovery! If you want to know names of Banana varieties in Southeast Asia, here's a page in Malay language if you're interested but excluding Pisang Ambon which is a Dutch made green-banana flavoured liqueur :-P

By the way, any foodies received emails or read about Japanese researchers found that fully ripe bananas with dark spots or patches has higher immunity enhancements quality? Whether it's true or not, I love bananas and so did everyone else! On the other hand, if it's true, am sure Pharmaceutical companies are not happy with the news :-) You can read some of the reports about benefits of banana and other superfoods that help to boost our immune systems here and here. I hope any Japanese foodies out there who had came across such informations to post comments and links in my blog.

When I was in Belgium recently, I discovered a pure Banana Purée/Juice by Delhaize with no added sugar, additives, coloring or from concentrate. It became an instant hit especially with my boy who loves to drink it besides milk. When we're back in Southeast Asia, everyday he would asked for it... sigh... Anyway, I encouraged him to taste the many varieties of fresh banana available locally. He still asked for it occasionally and I would made him Banana Lassi or whole banana ice cream (just freeze any ripe bananas and whizzed it). This leads to the recipe I wanted to share. It's currently one of my son's favourite item when I have surplus of bananas. The recipe is simple and contains no artificial flavorings or colorings. I like to serve it straight from the oven, hot with butter and freshly brewed coffee or tea. You can freeze any left overs and warm them up later. If you like (which I'm sure you would and love it!) pay a visit to David Lebovitz's Banana Bread, or Banana Cake explaining of the confusion which I had as well when I baked this banana cake or is it banana bread? :-D it a Cake or a Bread???

... sliced it thick and serve with butter or any of your favourite spread!

Torta Di Banana (Banana Cake)
Serves 1 Loaf

4 Bananas (about 300 g, peeled)
250 g Flour-sifted
½ tsp Baking Powder - sifted
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda - sifted
240 g Raw Caster Sugar/White Caster Sugar*
220 g Butter
4 Large Eggs (I used about 65 g-70 g egg)
125 ml Plain Yogurt (optional)

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180º C/160ºC fan force.
2. Peel and mash the bananas but not until watery. (I like to taste little chunks of banana in the cake). If you're using yogurt, add it in when mashing the banana.
3. Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and continue to whisk until fluffy.
4. Add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Stir well and add in the mashed banana. Continue to stir until ingredients mix well but not over mix.
5. Rub a cake mould/loaf tin with some butter and dust with with some flour. Knock off any access of flour. Pour the batter into the mould (you can also use 2 small loaf tins for this recipe but reduce the cooking time).
6. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked when a tester comes out clean.

Sometimes, I add about 125 ml of plain yogurt to the mashed bananas in the recipe to give it a nice fluffy texture and also the sourness of yogurt helps the bananas from turning brown.
* If you use Raw Caster Sugar, you will have a darker banana cake like in my photos. :-)
The verdict of this recipe... :-)



  1. He looks so happy! Great recipe! Funny - I have a loaf baking right now!!

  2. Is that your son? He is so cute.
    That very interesting to learn about bananas.
    I love banana cake (always wonder why they call it banana bread) and love that you added yoghurt to it.

  3. Hi, Belinda...firstly, thank you for visiting my blog and I wanted to tell you that I love your site - It's amazing to learn that each topic linked with each other each day in our lives without us realizing it. Great work there!

    You have your version of recipe in the site?

  4. I agree with the veredcit of your judge ... the pictures you show look yummy!

  5. Dearest Ivy... yes, he's my 4 year old boy :-) In the photos, he can't wait to eat the cake/bread that he even volunteered to help me carrying it out to the table for photo session. After the session, he couldn't wait no more and digging in while still warm...

    Yes, I tried several recipes that used yogurt before and I loved the light texture the yogurt gave with a tangy taste.

  6. Salut Laura! Comment vas-tu? Thank you for the compliment :-) This little judge is fussy when comes to what's going down his stomach, I must say. His nose and sight will tell him if the food is good or not. When he liked something he would always asked for more helpings. His favourite side accompaniment to this Banana Cake is... Homemade Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream!

  7. Beautiful bread! or cake. Have you ever tried making this recipe without yoghurt? I wonder if it will make a difference to the texture.

  8. Heyyyy Jun! How are you?

    I baked this recipe without yogurt formerly. Then I discovered the bananas oxidized (due to it's sugar content when using overripe bananas) too quickly while mashing it up even though I did that lastly to the batter mix. Some suggested drizzling some lime/lemon juice to the bananas but then I found my kid disliked it and the citrus juice overpowering the natural fragrance of banana as this recipe don't use artificial flavouring/banana essence at all - hence the yogurt :-)

    If you use just ripe bananas (slightly browned skin) and work quicker, you can omit the yogurt and...yes, yogurt gave this recipe softer and moist texture.

  9. Looks lovely! I love how fluffy the bread looks!

  10. Hi Jenn, thanks for the compliment! You're right, it's very fluffy like bread and my family simply loves it... since then, I'd been asked to bake several times. I'm trying out with other ingredients as well.

  11. Banana bread, banana cake, banana pudding, anything banana is alright with me!!!!! very good pics too Pixen!!!1 :)


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