I know I promised to talk about rye wheat bread today, but I totally fibbed. Not on purpose, mind you, but I forgot to look at the recipe or talk to my sweet husband, the maker of said bread, about it. So instead today we’re going to talk about my recent experience with Plantains.
No matter what it looks like the thing in the picture there is no a banana. I know it looks like a banana. Truthfully it kinda smells like one too. However, this is one of those situations where it looks like a banana, smells like a banana, but it’s certainly not a banana. It’s a plantain, which is related to a banana but is really a very starchy fruit more like a potato. Plantains can be eaten raw, or cooked in either their green unripe stage or their yellow to brown ripe stage. Greener fruits are starchier and yellow ones are sweeter. The leaves and flowers of the plantain are also used in cooking, the flower eaten and the leaves used a plates and for wrapping meats for steaming or roasting. Long and short of it..it’s a cool fruit.
My use of the fruit came when I had a pile of over ripe bananas and two ripe plantains. I did some searching around and settled on a plantain mango banana cake. This resulted in a very tender cake and the plantains, fried in butter before baking, were very sweet and rich. I topped the whole thing with a light cream cheese and cinnamon frosting and there was much happiness in the land.
I think I may have a new friend in the plantain. Muffins next time!
Plantain Banana Mango Cake
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large, ripe plantain
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 ripe banana
1 medium mango – diced
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (opt)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to thoroughly grease a 9×9 inch glass baking. Peel the plantain and slice it 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal. In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium heat and saute the plantain for 2 or 3 minutes per side, until softened and golden. Distribute the plantain evenly on the bottom of the dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Peel and mash the bananas, adding in the mango cubes, walnuts and milk. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. First add the banana mixture to the creamed butter mixture, then fold in the flour mixture, stirring only until all the flour has disappeared. Scoop the batter on top of the plantains and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cook for 10-15 minutes and then turn out upside down. Ice with cream cheese frosting, or slice and serve warm.