The main pleasure in baking is being able to share the final result with friends, feed them and making them happy, even though only for the short time of a few bites. The concept of sharing the food must have some ancestral meaning maybe of supporting your loved ones, nurture them, as they would do with you. That is why, as nice and impressive they look, at our place you will never (or very rarely) find food served in individual dishes plated elegantly with fancy decorations. They look great, nothing wrong about them, but I leave that to restaurants and Masterchef contestants, who are definitely better than me at that. At our table food will always come in large sharing plates, from which anyone can help oneself, from which anyone can choose the portion size and the exact spoonful they want to get.
And if you share it means you are not alone. Eating is one of those things that one should never do alone, unless absolutely necessary. Eating alone is one of the saddest things that I can think for myself and when we go out for a meal and at the table next to us somebody is sitting alone, there’s always this little voice inside of me who tells me that we should invite the lonely customer to join us. Of course the little voice is swiftly put to silence by my social common sense, but still, something inside of me tells me that a meal should be an occasion to share with others.
And there is another thing that comes naturally when sharing food: sharing recipes. I know that lots of people do not like to share their secret in the kitchen, but to be absolutely honest I have never understood why. The same recipe in a different kitchen, in the hand of a different person but even just in a different day will produce a different dish and culinary tradition is based on passing onto someone else what you know, that’s how dishes are made known to many people and often how they are improved. I am very glad my Indian housemate taught me how to make proper basmati rice, on return I tried to reciprocate teaching him how to cook risotto, for example; I really don’t see how preventing someone else to cook the same thing as yours would make your food better. Unless you are doing it as a job, of course.
That is why the recipe I share with you today is the best banana cake I have ever tried, and it was kindly shared with me by my friend Jennifer. I do not even like bananas in cakes, but when I tried hers I understood what all the fuss was about :). I made a couple spins on the recipe she gave me (mostly in the process), because another great thing of sharing recipes is putting your own stamp and make it slightly different. But I hope I made justice to her recipe because it was absolutely delicious. And to thank her I share here with her the (extremely simple) recipe of this “fake” ice cream (which was shared, of course, with me by my husband’s parents) that goes perfectly with the banana bread and that we had last time together.
Have a nice Sunday!
Mash the bananas and add the content of one vanilla stick. Mix thoroughly with the butter after melting it. Add the egg and incorporate. Add the sugar and mix until dissolved. Mix in the flour, the baking powder and the salt.
Put in a loaf tin (if you have only a small one like me you will get two small loaf out of this amount of dough) and bake at 180°C for about 50 minutes or to be sure prick the loaf with a knife in the middle, the banana bread is ready when the knife comes out completely clean.
Prepare the “ice cream” by whipping 500ml of whipping cream very stiff together with the content of one vanilla stick (or vanilla extract, careful to not turn the cream into butter). Gently spoon in one can (394gr) of condensed milk and some chopped nougat. Place in a container in the freezer ideally overnight.
You can add any flavours to the cream and condensed milk base for this ice-cream, just bear on mind that it is already extremely sweet and also that if you want to add liquid ingredient in large amount that could affect the final texture.
When the banana bread is cold serve with the ice cream.