The first guest post of 2012 is about banana bread. It is a great coincidence that John has decided to choose this as his topic because last week I baked banana bread for the very first time myself. It was deliciously moist and was reduced to a pile of crumbs in no time by a gang of visiting relatives. I love the ease of making banana bread and, as John mentions here, it is a great way to use up any bananas that you consider too ripe for eating.
John has contributed to What We Ate Today on several occasions sharing with us some of his favourite recipes. If you would like to contribute please visit the community page and submit your details.
Banana bread by John (a guest post)
I realise I have a bit of the Paula Deen reputation on this blog of starting every recipe with a pound of butter, and although I’ve been baking again today the bananas make me feel that I could count a piece into one of my “5-a-day”.
Bananas are one of my favourite foods. I can eat a couple [of bananas] for breakfast easily but like most I feel I am particularly picky about what stage they have gone past their best – for me is as soon as I can see any brown flecks on the bright yellow skin.
Last weekend I was dispatched by work for three nights in Glasgow, Scotland and when I appeared back into the house, tired and in need of a little home comfort I was greeted by 3 large black items on the work surface and a slight scent of ethylene gas. Yes, you guessed it; three very over ripe bananas.
There is a quick tip to remember here which has nothing to do with banana bread making whatsoever – if you need to ripen avocados quickly place them in a paper bag with a ripe banana skin, the call of the Americas will hastily speed up the ripening process.
I do really hate throwing anything away, not out of any real environmental concern, (I am an airline pilot at the end of the day) but more because I hate wasting my hard-earned money. But this morning, feeling slightly more refreshed but still in my dressing gown, I was in the mood for baking and there could be only one thing to make and would give me yet another excuse to use my new Magimix food processor; banana bread.
I’ve previously shared another recipe from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess book (the Coca Cola cake, which Natalie very kindly picked as one of her favourite blogs of 2011) and my twist on this banana bread is taken from the same book.
Even if you’re not overly keen on bananas I must insist you try this, it is another extremely moist cake that I am told if it lasts long enough to go stale, will toast beautifully! Unsurprisingly, have never had to try this as I am surrounded by such unashamed gluttons in my apartment.
This is such a simple loaf cake to make and takes literally seconds in the processor.
- 100g Raisins
- 175g Plain Flour
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp of Salt and Bicarb Of Soda
- 125g melted butter
- 150g Golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 very over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 170c or equivalents and if you have a fan oven and can, turn the fan off. (I do this for every time I want anything to rise in the oven as the fan will basically cook the outside far too quickly before the inside is set. My mum is superstitious that a Yorkshire pudding will not rise in a fan oven and it is true!)
2) In a processor (or you can make all this in a bowl with an electric hand mixer) beat together the melted butter and sugar till well blended
3) Crack the eggs in one at time and mix well, then add in the mashed banana and vanilla and mix well again
4) Add the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and bicarb and mix till all blended through
5) Carefully mix in the raisins, use the pulse function a few times to avoid chopping the raisins.
6) Pour into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin (23x 13x7cm) and bake in the oven for around an hour/hour and 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
7) Cool in the tin until cool enough to handle then leave to cool on a rack, until slicing into beautiful thick slices and enjoying with a good strong mug of tea!