My friend Rachel – she of Christmas cake icing fame – asked me to blog about what I do with very ripe bananas. This banana bread recipe is the first of two things I do and certainly the more traditional of the two. The second, which will follow tomorrow, is an almost instant banana icecream which is vegan (though you’d never know it as it tastes so creamy) and refined sugar free.
It can be baked as a loaf or in muffin cases. I invariably choose to do it in individual muffin cases as it freezes so beautifully and can be microwaved for a minute from frozen to taste as fresh and delicious as it was when it came from the oven which is really useful. Plus, if you call it a muffin it means that it somehow is ok to have what is essentially a cake for breakfast (as well as with a cuppa or anytime really)! In fairness it does keep in a tin for a few days but as this recipe makes 2 small loaves or 12 individual Muffins freezing works for me
If you are making Muffins I use an icecream scoop to portion them and to make sure that they are all the same size. It’s really useful to not have to try and even them up at the end taking bits off one and adding to another which is always what happens to me when I divide the mix with a spoon
The bananas themselves do need to be ripe and have at least a few dark brown splodges on them or else the end result will not have that sweet almost fudgey taste so important to banana bread.
The other important point is that when you add the bananas to the mix it will go all curdled looking. This is because the bananas go lumpy and are not absorbed by the egg/butter/sugar mix but don’t despair it all comes right when you add the flour. Have faith!!
i always add a topping of crushed nuts and Demerara cigar as I love a crunchy top I have cut down on the sugar in the mix so if you aren’t going to do this top up the caster sugar by 50g
- Finely grated zest of a lemon
- 100g sultanas
- 4tbsp black tea/rum/whisky depending on preference
- 100g soft butter (room temperature)
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 mashed bananas
- 100g chopped walnuts or pecans if preferred
- 300g plain flour
- 3tsp baking powder
For the topping
- 50g Demerara sugar
- 100g crushed walnuts/pecans
- Put sultanas, tea/rum/whisky and lemon zest in a bowl to soak
- Beat butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy
- Add eggs and beat until combined
- Add peeled bananas and mix thoroughly remembering not to panic when mix looks curdled!
- Fold in flour and baking powder followed by soaked sultanas and their liquid and the chopped nuts. If mix is too stiff for an easy dropping consistency add a little milk
- Divide mix into either 2 lined 1lb loaf tins or twelve muffin cases
- Scatter over Demerara sugar and crushed nuts for topping
- Bake at 180c for 25 mins for Muffins or 45 mins for loaves.