It has surprised many people, that while we spent 2 months last year on a sub-tropical island, fresh fruit was often in short supply. Long story short, lets just say that the political and economic situation there has greatly hindered the island's ability to provide for itself. So there we were on an island paradise where mangos, nectarines, figs, cherry mias and loquats CAN grow...eating apples from a continent 1200 miles away. Mind you, they were good apples but I had a bit of trouble concentrating on that fact as I stared out the window at a banana tree. Surely this was a strange place.
Seeing my distress my husband brought me this lovely "bouquet" one afternoon! They turned yellow in a week or two and thereafter we were blessed to find plenty of the tastiest bananas ever. In fact we had enough bananas to try a local recipe for Banana Cake. Goes as follows...
Saint Helena Banana Cake
This recipe has been adapted for the American kitchen from "What's Cooking on Saint Helena?", collected and published by The Ladies Craft Group of Saint Helena.
2-3 very ripe bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
8 oz. butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups self-rising flour
Mash the bananas and stir in lemon juice. Cream together butter and sugar then beat in eggs followed by banana mixture. Stir in flour just until combined. Bake in a greased 9 x 9" pan at 400F for 45 mins. or until a toothpick comes out clean.
* For a chocolate version, add 6 TBSP. of hot cocoa mix with the flour.
* For a special version created by my son Samuel sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips before baking.
* To make self-rising flour - 1 cup flour +1 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp. salt
This is a deliciously moist cake that has become one of our favorites.