I had been feeling rather guilty about the neglected bunch of bananas sitting in my kitchen, developing lots of brown spots. They were well past their best for a tasty snack but looked perfect for a banana loaf, so as I left for work yesterday I resolved to make one.
I am not a particularly good baker but I love eating banana loaf and how hard can it be?! Well, experience has now told me that for anyone with a little bit of patience and common sense it isn’t hard at all. Suffice to say, I had a few small mishaps along the way!
First, I had an incident with melting the butter. I decided to do it in a glass jug in the microwave for speed and ease of pouring. I started off with a 10 second blitz but nothing really seemed to happen, so being impatient, I put it on for a minute. I then left the room to do something else and was feeling rather pleased with myself for the ingenious idea of using a jug when I heard an almighty bang at around the 50 second mark. The butter had obviously got too hot and had exploded all over the microwave. Whoops!
My second mistake was playing fast and loose with the size of loaf tin. It was pretty clear to me, even without a ruler, that my tin was too small. However, the mixture seemed to fit so I decided to pour it all in anyway. Inevitably as it rose quite a lot of mixture dripped out onto the bottom of the oven causing a big mess and a rather unpleasant smell, which was still lingering this morning. Oh dear!
Despite this, I must say my loaf came out looking and tasting great. I was really rather impresssed. I have therefore concluded that it must be a foolproof recipe and one to keep up my sleeve for future occassions.
In the end, the only real problem was that I only needed 2 bananas for an entire loaf (I was expecting to need a lot more), so I still have 3 very ripe bananas sitting in the kitchen making me feel guilty. I might have to make another loaf or two to use them up.
The recipe I used was from the wonderful Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. It suggests a 23 x 13cm loaf tin. I am sure that this is obvious to most people but if your tin is smaller, don’t pour the whole mixture in as the cake will rise.
Once you have sourced a suitable tin, turn the oven on to 170°C or gas mark 3 and get your ingredients ready. You will need:
270g light brown sugar
200g peeled bananas
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
140g unsalted butter
It will only take about 10 minutes to prepare. First, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk, then give the bananas a good mash and whisk these in. Once this is all mixed together add the dry ingredients and mix in well. Finally melt the butter (carefully) and whisk this in.
That is it, easy peasy! You just need to pour it into the tin and pop it in the oven until a skewer comes out clean, which should take about an hour, then leave to cool.
I couldn’t quite believe how straightforward it was, no folding or separating eggs or leaving things to rest. From this day forward I shall aim to never throw another banana in the bin.