Back in Sydney, Queensland bananas dominate the market. A former grower told me one of the reasons he got out of the industry was because Queensland could produce what the market wanted - bigger, cheaper bananas. While it takes 18 months for modest-sized fruit to ripen in the Nambucca Valley, the warmer Queensland climate can do it in 12, at the same time producing bigger, longer fruit. If this efficiency is at the expense of flavour, I'll choose smaller, tastier bananas every time.
125g of salted butter
185g of castor sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 very ripe bananas
1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
100ml of milk
180g of self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place 125g of salted butter and 185g of castor sugar in an electric mixer and beat until creamy. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and keep beating. Peel 2 very ripe bananas - yielding about 180g of flesh - and mash them with a fork. Add them, along with a whole egg, to the butter and mix well.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with 100ml of milk until it is dissolved, then add to the banana mixture. Sift 180g of self-raising flour and fold into the mixture.
Use butter to grease a small loaf or cake tin, then pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 minutes. It's done when a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out dry. Cool a little before turning out onto a cooling rack.
When completely cool, dust the top with a little icing sugar.
Keeps well and is great toasted.