Saturday 15 August 2020


Today, bananas! I was going to say that I never make banana bread but The Blob never lies. In 2017, I was apparently in the habit of buying cheap bananas and making loadsa banana-bread. So I never rarely make banana bread; and certainly not often enough to know what are the best proportions of bananas, eggs, butter, sugar & flour. And it depends on what you mean by "best" proportions. In any case, when my pal Rene came round with a generous hand of bananas and there was no room in the fruit basket, I had to look up a recipe and try my hand again. On the don't overthink principle, I picked the top result from oogling "banana bread BBC" and modified it by throwing in a handful of sultanas. It was fine.

On the are we going to measure or are we going to cook? principle, I started to ponder what were the allowable variations in putting together bananas, eggs, butter, sugar & flour and getting a loaf [rather than soup, or soap] at the end of the process. Obviously there must be a certain amount of leeway because one banana is as long as a [very short] piece of string and the weight of an egg hardly more precise. The most scientific way of addressing the problem would be to a) move next door to an orphanage or a direct provision centre and then b) make many loaves of BB each with subtle differences in the relative amounts of the ingredients. But anothher way is to stand on the aprons of giants and see what other people have tried; presumably with success if they have floated to the top of the oogleverse. I scraped the most oogly BB recipes from the BBC and 4 more celebrity-chef recipes to make it up to N = 10:

That's really noisy data, no? 1 - 4 eggs; 2 to 6 bananas etc. so we need to standardise the proportions:
That's much better: everything is now per egg and we can start to compare the different recipes. I suggest that there are two useful definitions of "best": a) uses up the most bananas b) the one which will most impress the in-laws when they drop in for their first post-covid  appearance. 
The a) is easy: the penultimate "6221" recipe requires six (6!) bananas; but you may need to buy a bigger tin because we're looking at 1.8Kg of cake! Failing that any of the recipes where the banana ratio maxes out at 2/eggs.
b) requires a bit more calculation. Impress the neighbours requires potlatch and potlatch requires rich. Rich requires more butter [proportional to flour]. That ratio appears in the R-most column; and clearly the BBC-brilliant recipe is the winner. As it happens, that's the recipe I chose to use of bananas, so win-win. Bit of a waste, because <burp> I scarfed down most of that banana bread before we got any visitors.

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