Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red.
Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from the two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca are no longer used.
In popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains or “cooking bananas”. The distinction is purely arbitrary and the terms ‘plantain’ and ‘banana’ are sometimes interchangeable depending on their usage.
I like my bananas, without controversy, and hot, in the shape of a Gugelhupf …. so, I started baking … I use ceramic Gugelhupf pans, they give a slower, more even cooking than the tin or stainless steel ones.
They are tall herbs, really, not trees, though they can shoot up thirty feet if all goes well for them. Cut in cross section they look like gigantic onions, multi-layered mysteries with ghostly hearts. Their leaves are made to be broken by the wind, if wind there be, but the crosswise tears they are built to expect do them no harm. Around the steady staff of the leafstalk the broken fronds flap in the breeze like brief forgotten flags, but these tattered, green, photosynthetic machines know how to grasp with their broken fingers the gold coins of light that give open air its shine. In hot, dry weather the fingers fold down to touch on each side– a kind of prayer to clasp what damp they can against the too much light.
Ingredients for two small Gugelhupf or one square roasting tray 120 g lightly salted butter (softened at room temperature) 200 g light brown sugar 100 g Maple syrup 1 pc zest one small lemon 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 eggs 430 g ripe (!) bananas 360 g all purpose flour 8 g baking powder 150 g walnuts 200 g fresh, full at yoghurt (at room temperature) butter and flour for the baking mold
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C
- place the butter, sugar and Maple syrup in the bowl of your mixer
- run at medium speed until mixed
- add the lemon zest and vanilla extract
- mix until all ingredients are well combined and creamy
- add one egg at the time, and mix until batter becomes smooth before adding the next egg
- in the meantime sift the flour, baking powder
- chip the walnuts and add to the flour
- cut the bananas into medium size pieces and add slowly to the butter/egg mixture until well combined
- remove the bowl from your mixer
- add the flour and incorporate with a wooden spoon
- last, add the yoghurt
- melt some butter and brush your baking mold and dust with flour
- place on the lower middle rack in the oven
- bake for about 45 min (check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked all the way through)