Snickers banana slice
I’m not sure I can face either baking or eating another banana bread for quite some time, so when a couple of bananas turned black and soggy, I consulted an eccentric little recipe book for guidance and came up with a ridiculous twist on a banana slice.
The recipe book is called Manna From Heaven. It was produced in 1991 by the ladies of All Saints Cathedral in Bathurst, the Australian town where I went to high school and university. My mother, herself a lady of All Saints Cathedral, at some point gifted me a copy of this cookbook and it made its way with me to London. The cookbook is rather thick, appears to have been typeset on a manual typewriter, does not have an index and the measurements vary wildly between metric and imperial, sometimes in the same recipe. But it is full of gems, proper home-cooking classics, the fodder of many a cathedral cake stall.
I had a hunch I’d find a banana slice recipe lurking in the well-thumbed pages and I was right. It was a banana and date slice but I decided to use the very basics of this to make a banana slice that was inspired by a Snickers bar. The flavours of nuts, caramel and chocolate would, I figured, go well with the banana slice base, all cooked up as a tray bake.
This recipe requires a little time and patience but the results are worth it, even if my husband and I had massive sugar rushes from the multiple opportunities to lick bowls and beaters.
For the banana slice
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250g) caster sugar or soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
2 ripe bananas
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125g) desiccated coconut
200g salted peanuts, crushed (I put them in a ziplock bag and smash with a meat tenderising hammer or rolling pin)
For the caramel
1/3 cup (85ml) maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain flour
For the frosting
200g icing sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
25g unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons boiling water
- Prepare a traybake tin by greasing and lining with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla. Combine well.
- Put the two bananas in the bowl and mash into the mix with a fork.
- Sift the flour into the bowl and mix well.
- Fold the crushed peanuts through the batter with a table knife. Set the batter aside.
- In a saucepan, quickly combine the caramel ingredients over a medium heat, mixing well with a wooden spoon or sauce whisk. Remove from the heat as soon as it starts to bubble and slightly thicken.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. As you go, add teaspoons of the caramel, dotting them throughout. Continue until there is no more batter or caramel.
- Swirl the caramel through the batter with a skewer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm and golden-brown – keep an eye on it, especially if your oven runs hot, as the caramel can burn easily. Try a lower shelf in the oven. If it starts to overcook but it’s still a bit wobbly, put a layer of foil or baking paper on top.
- Leave the banana slice to cool and make the frosting.
- For the frosting, use a hand or electric whisk to combine the butter and cocoa powder. Gradually mix in the boiling water and then sift in the icing sugar and mix until well combined. Frost the banana slice once it has cooled.