I recently had an existential showdown with some bananas. As existential showdowns go it wasn’t in the same league as Oscar Wilde’s with the wallpaper in a Parisian hotel, where he reputedly uttered the immortal line: ‘one of us has got to go’, while lying on his deathbed and looking at said wallpaper.
Now the situation with the aforementioned bananas was not, as I said, quite so dire. But still and all, something had to give because the bananas looked as black as the ebony keys on a piano. I ruled out eating them as I don’t like the cotton wool-y taste of over ripe bananas and throwing them out was not an option. So, banana bread it was then.
The first recipe I came across for banana bread when I was rifling through my cookery books was in Tasmin Day-Lewis’s ‘Tasmin’s Kitchen Bible’. The method outlined was different from any I had used to make banana bread on other occasions, so I was somewhat dubious about it working. I decide to have faith and I am so glad I did because the recipe worked a treat and produced the most delicious banana bread.
Here is how it’s made.
225g/8oz self-raising flour
¾ level tsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp sea salt
100g/3½oz vanilla caster sugar
100g/3½oz unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 tbsp good runny honey
55g/2oz chopped walnuts
450g/1lb ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
juice of a lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the mixed spice, salt and sugar and stir to blend.
3. Add the butter pieces, beaten egg, chopped walnuts, sultans, mashed bananas, honey and the lemon juice and beat the mixture well to combine everything.
4. Pour the batter (it’s loose but not liquid-y) into a greased loaf tin.
5. Bake at 180°C/350°F for an hour then turn the oven down to 170°C/325°F and bake for a further 15 – 30 minutes. (insert a knife to check: if it comes out clean the bread is done).
6. Cool, but not completely, in the tin before turning out.
The banana bread is best served warm and is yummy with crème fraîche. I used up leftover slices by warming them in the oven and then slathering them with butter and drizzling honey on top. Delicious as a breakfast treat.
Enjoy your weekend!