I’ve just had a bite of a Banana Bomb.
As I bit through the just-crunchy skin and into the moist flesh within, life stopped. Oh, the pleasure. But then I panicked. As I swallowed, it was like it had found a hidden fistula that bypassed my intestines, instead sneaking straight into each vulnerable nook of every artery.
There was nothing for it – a dash to the cupboard and a sip of live-saving Laphroaig 10 and I’m here to warn the world. I might have even dissolved the bulk of the fat fast enough to limit the lasting damage, until the next bite.
The inspiration for this experiment came from a few sources: yesterday I was complimented on my banana bread recipe by a local café owner; this morning, flipping pancakes, I marvelled that I was simply frying a loose muffin mixture and wondered what shallow-fried cake-mix would taste like; this afternoon, I saw that Tesco is now selling the notorious, and deep-fried, “Duffin”.
This was the natural progression. The first attempt, made using my standard banana bread recipe, ended up like a soggy amalgamation of those little bits of overfried chip that collect in the polystyrene corners at the bottom of a chippy.
Then I upped the flour, lost the egg and quenelled the (considerably stiffer) mixture into the hot oil. Now, they may look like chicken dippers encrusted with days-old cat semen, but if these came out of a trendy bakery in Shoreditch, there’d be a queue worthy of national news. They are, as you probably guessed, dangerously good. Cronuts? Duffins? You’ve got a new top dog.
Disclaimer: if you live anywhere south of Carlisle and are therefore minimally adept in the handling of hot oil, don’t blame me if you burn your house down.
30g salted butter
1 banana, ripe or overripe
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
120g plain flour
500ml vegetable oil, for frying
Caster sugar, for dusting
Makes 6-8 bombs. Plenty.
1. First, melt your butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Add in your banana, sugar, milk and baking powder and use a whisk or spoon to mush everything together until mostly-smooth.
2. Add your flour in and stir until it is combined – you should have a mixture that resembles a scone-mix for consistency. At this point, slosh some oil into a saucepan and place it over a medium heat. Whilst that begins to heat up, coat the bottom of another mixing bowl with caster sugar.
3. Keep an eye on your oil. You want it at 170C, and you should make absolutely sure it never gets above 180C. When it’s up to temperature, turn down the heat and spoon in lumps of your mixture.
4. Fry for at least a minute, checking the bottom for golden-brownness. When present, flip them and fry for an equal amount of time on the other side. They should rise plenty.
5. Using a slotted spoon, give any excess oil the choice to drip away or be absorbed, then place each bomb into the sugar. Toss them until fully coated.
Best enjoyed approximately half an hour after frying. I made use of the leftover fat by oiling up our wooden boards, thus permanently infusing our kitchen with the evocative aroma of childhood fairgrounds.