Fruits of Liberia: Mini-Bananas (+recipe for Blondies Foster)

Well, it was just a matter of time until I hit that ubiquitous tropical fruit, the banana.  So, while you can find the Cavendish (the variety typically sold in the U.S.), there are lots of other varieties out there.  There’s one that’s a bit longer than the Cavendish and that seems to stay green, or very pale yellow, when ripe.  There are also these:


IMG_9431  Mini Bananas!IMG_9433

They’re about 3-4 inches long and a little bigger around than the bananas you may be used to.  The fruit is a little more yellow.  They taste more banana-y than what you can get in most stores away from the tropics.  That may be because they’re actually ripe when picked, but I think it’s just their flavor profile.  It’s almost like there is the same amount of flavoring, just in a smaller package.

The other thing about this variety is that it isn’t as watery.  You can bake with it, and not worry about soggy desserts.  Banana bread would be awesome made with these.  So, if I dare say, is this, which is sort of a take on bananas foster in a blondie form.

I started with the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but tweaked it some:

8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted
175 grams demerara sugar [the original had 1 cup (218 grams or 7 3/4 ounces for light; 238 grams or 8 3/8 ounces for dark) brown sugar]
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
4 1/2 oz whole wheat flour [the original had 1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour]
2 mini bananas cut into thin rounds to mix in
3-4 mini bananas sliced lengthwise to put on top

Caramel topping:
75 grams sugar
15 grams milk (that’s a hair over a tablespoon)
Splash vanilla

Butter an 8×8 pan
Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in banana slices.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange lengthwise slices on top.  Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  When the timer goes off, set the timer for another 10 minutes.  Make the caramel sauce.  Once done (about five minutes), take the blondies out and drizzle the caramel over the top.  Put back in for the remaining time (3-5 minutes).  Check if set.  If not, turn off heat and leave in oven another 5-10 minutes.  Let cool completely before slicing.


Slices on top…ready to go into the oven.


Blondies Foster!



Enjoy with a glass of milk