It just happens over and over again that I end up with over ripe bananas. Thanks to that I have learnt to love the chocolate and banana combination, I even cooked banana jam. So after all it is a not such a bad thing that I forget about them once in a while. Actually with these I only wanted to make a banana shake with loads of vanilla ice cream, but the snow outside made me freeze already when I only thought about getting out the ice cream maker from the cold pantry.
So instead I sat in front of my computer and started to check out some banana recipes. I found a shortbread by James Martin, with caramel and bananas, and as I have never baked a shortbread before, it seemed to be the perfect first occassion to do so. I only made a tiny change: he serves it with banana ice cream and caramel sauce, instead I only sprinkled with some molten dark chocolate.
For the caramel
200g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
800g cans condensed milk (I used heavy cream)
For the shortbread
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus an extra spoonful
150g caster sugar
300g plain flour
4 large bananas, peeled and sliced
For the caramel, place the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously, to make the caramel. As soon as the mixture thickens and begins to smell of caramel, remove from the heat. For the shortbread, preheat the oven to 170°C.
Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Sift the cornflour and plain flour into the bowl. Mix and gently knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
Line a 20cmx30cm baking tin with non-stick baking parchment. Roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the tin and lay it inside, pressing it neatly into the edges.
Spread three quarters of the condensed-milk caramel evenly over the base (the rest will keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to two weeks). Lay the banana slices over the caramel and then crumble the remaining third of the dough over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Leave it to cool in the tin for five minutes before cutting it into squares. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.