this sh*t is bananas • B-A-N-A-N-A-S

sweet-lab.com (banana fritters)

Yes, the cool and crisp fall air is slowly (but steadily) taking over the troposphere. And thank God it is, because for those of us who don’t do well in the heat, whether it’s dry heat or humid heat (or the deadly combination of both I’ve faced this year), gladly welcome this refreshing change with much gratitude.

BUT I still refuse to do it.

I will not let summer go without making  what has been a summer classic during those dry hot summer days in southern Spain. My argument? Summer officially grants the go-ahead to fall on September 23rd…so it’s still summer, even if that recognizable autumn breeze that swings the leaves back and forth is gently settling in.

So there’s still time to make these banana treats and make them be categorized and classified as a “summer sweet” as opposed to a “fall sweet”. I’m a bit OCD, so I do partake in the categorizing and classification of items from time to time. Such things matter. I wish they didn’t at times.

sweet-lab.com (frozen chocolate banana)

Anyways, my mom, aunt, and myself tend to have a tiny and nutritious snack after we do our exercise routine in the pool and these frozen bananas pop up in the menu often enough for merienda time as well during the summers. Yes, I’m blessed and fortunate enough that I get the opportunity to go back home at least once a year. Although on a low mood day, visiting Spain once or twice/year doesn’t seem nearly quite often enough.

This summer has been very hectic in comparison to others and therefore I haven’t kept up the routine of making these. BANANA FAIL. Here is my attempt though of mitigating that feel of defeat: A whole blog dedicated to two recipes in which the main ingredient is bananas: one that many people know of; another one that I invented and will introduce. And you can classify them however you like. Or if your mind doesn’t work that way…then I consider you to be lucky.

So let’s go back to the topic.

Bananas.

What to do with them when they’re on their ripe stage aside from the obvious? Yes, banana bread is a favorite of mine as well and I have no problem indulging in a generous piece of that nutty and sweet bread, but I wanted to offer you other “banana ideas”. You may already be very familiar with one of them. The first idea is what I will call a banana fritter and it’s a recipe I generated and came up with as I stared at the fruit basket that sits upon my kitchen counter and asked myself: Hmmmm…what to do with these beauties? The recipe and procedure began to unfold in my mind and the banana fritter was born.The second idea…well, is not really my idea at all. It’s a borrowed idea, as many ideas are when it comes to baking, cooking, and many things in this world. I already mentioned it and it’s a frozen chocolate banana. The first time I tasted a frozen chocolate banana was in Disney World and I pretty much fell in love with it.

(*Note: I will not present the recipe for the frozen chocolate banana in the scientific method that I have used for the previous recipes of sweet-lab, as it’s not an invention I created. The banana fritter recipe was, so I will use the “scientific method” to present that recipe).

BANANA FRITTER:

sweet-lab.com

Research Question: How bananas will you go when you try the banana fritter?

Hypothesis: You will go BANANAS bc…..

– the smooth and sweet banana filling will make a nice contrast with the crunchy texture of the chopped walnuts and the crispy fritter batter that is used to coat the banana mixture. Smoothness + Crunchy + Crispy  = interesting textures for your palate.

– honey + cinnamon + banana = extreme goodness for your taste buds.

– the walnuts will become a bit toasted when frying the banana fritters, and they will exude more of the natural oils, making the nutty flavor more intense.

Materials/Ingredients:

– 3 ripe bananas

– 8 oz chopped walnuts (1 cup)

– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Materials/Ingredients for frying batter:

– 8 oz flour (1 cup)

– 8 oz liquid (I used soy milk bc I always have it around)

– 4 oz egg (1 large egg)

– 1 teaspoon of baking powder

– 1 teaspoon of sugar

– pinch of salt

– vegetable oil for frying (just enough to cover the banana balls)

Materials/Ingredients for toppings: honey and ground cinnamon “to the eye and taste”.

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Mash bananas in a bowl with a fork until bananas are broken down.

2. Add cinnamon to the banana mash.

3. Form small balls out of the banana mash and cover with chopped walnuts. You can gently roll them over the chopped walnuts. That worked for me.

4. Place balls on a tray or a container and freeze them for at least 15 minutes until they are firm. Meanwhile, start working on the frying batter….

5. Blend all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt). Mix the wet ingredients (milk and eggs) in a separate bowl and then pour over the dry ingredients. Whisk and mix thoroughly.

6. Meanwhile, start warming up your oil in a small pan. One easy way of detecting if you’re oil is ready is by dropping a tiny drop of batter into the oil. If the drop quickly rises to the surface then you are ready to start frying.

7. Take banana balls out of freezer and dip about 3-4 of them into the frying batter and cover them with the batter completely. Spoon out the banana balls out of batter and gently drop into the frying oil. I used a large spoon for that. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until they’re uniformly golden. Don’t try to fry too many balls at once because an overload in the frying pan can drop the temperature of the oil and mess up the frying process. If this happens, the bananas will become soggy and the wanted crispiness won’t occur successfully.

8. Place over a napkin to soak up the excess oil.

sweet-lab.com

9. Serve them and drizzle a bit of honey over them along with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

sweet-lab.com

sweet-lab.com

Results/Conclusion:

– The smooth and sweet banana filling successfully contrasts the crunchy texture of the walnuts and crispy batter.

– The banana filling isn’t overpoweringly sweet, since extra sugar wasn’t added to the banana filling. Adding extra sugar to ripe bananas isn’t necessary for this recipe. The ripe bananas along with the honey that was drizzled at the end was enough to contribute to the gentle and satisfying sweetness.

– One of my banana fritters didn’t fry properly and thus became soggy. That’s what I get for rushing at the end and wanting to fry a little too many of them at once.

– Important to note: Have you realized that the ratio for the frying batter is almost identical to the  quick cake ratio that was used for the chocolate-coffee vanilla-ice cream sandwich and the blueberry-lemon cupcakes? Let me remind you that the ratio for a quick cake is 2:2:1:1 (flour:liquid:egg:fat). The ratio for a frying batter is almost the same, minus the fat. So frying batter ratio = 2 (flour): 2 (liquid): 1 (egg). Yay! Now you know another common ratio that you can use for multiple recipes. I used it for these banana fritters. What other fritters can you think of? Sweet fritters. Savory fritters. Can’t wait to explore more fritter recipes.

FROZEN CHOCOLATE BANANA:

Ingredients:

2 ripe but firm bananas

6 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, peanuts, pecans, or granola (or a combination of all!)

Procedure:

1. Peel and cut the bananas in half. Insert a Popsicle stick into each half, as shown. I don’t have Popsicle sticks around the house so I tend to use wooden skewer sticks instead.

2. Place them on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper or cut small pieces of plastic wrapping paper and wrap them around each banana piece. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile finely chop the nut mixture.

4. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwavable bowl or measuring cup. Melt the chocolate with the oil  in the microwave (check it every 30 seconds) until smooth. You can also prepare a double-boiler and place bowl over a half-full pan of simmering water for about 2 minutes. Be sure that the bowl and the water aren’t in contact with each other. Stir until smooth.

5. Roll each banana half in the chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with your topping (if using).

6. Freeze until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Enjoy.

sweet-lab.com

You can serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to a week, although I’m sure they won’t be around for that long 😉

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2 thoughts on “this sh*t is bananas • B-A-N-A-N-A-S

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