Banana Bread – Hmmm..

So I have finally got around to baking something from my new cookery book. I’m actually very proud of myself as I have 100s of books I’ve never done anything with but read and yearn!

The other day in work, we had a strange occurence of lots of unripe bananas appearing from nowhere. They were largely ignored and so I scooped up a handful and had plans to make banana bread which kept being thwarted by a lack of loaf tin and then by a lack of bicarbonate of soda. I borrowed a loaf tin from Hannah, and wondered where mine had gone, and then kept putting it off until yesterday when I wanted to make the house smell nicely of baking and also had a day to kill. I don’t suit boredom..

I ended up pulling out all of our dry goods store and found some bicarbonate of soda and some baking powder so I only had to skip around the corner to the shop for eggs and a newspaper which wasn’t as stressful as the thought of going to a supermarket. Sometimes, the mental strain of going to Asda on a Sunday is the only thing that stands between me and domestic canonisation.

I was excited that the recipe for Banana Bread in the Hummingbird Bakery book looked quite simple. The book itself is full of mouthwatering recipes for the kind of baking that looks like someone may have bought it from somewhere fancy and that’s the kind, I like. I do like cupcakes but I often find them disappointing so I’m looking forward to making some of the chocolate and hazelnut ones and the peaches and cream ones. There’s also recipes for pies, cakes and cookies. Anything American really… The chap who wrote the book is from England but studied at a US school in London, having eaten baking at his cousins in the US, he went to cookery school in New York before setting up the most famous cake bakery in London.

The cookbook gets straight to it. There’s no preliminary chit chat like with Nigella and I actually missed it a little. It certainly added to my baking anxiety. The instructions themselves are fine but probably on the slim side. When my batter looked too runny, it would have helped if he had added a little post script to say what consistency batter you’re aiming for. They turned out of the oven looking horrific which has more to do with my asking my housemate’s advice and then heeding it so there are no finished pictures but I can definitely confirm that it tasted amazing and whilst, it might not be one for days when you want to make some pretty cakes, it was very tasty. There was a lot of mixture though so we put some in a muffin tin and baked them for about 15 minutes. I would have added white icing and a little gummy banana sweet to the tops if I hadn’t devoured them from the tin still warm and with a fork..

Banana Loaf

  • 270g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g peeled bananas, mashed
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 140g unsalted butter, melted

A 23 x 13-cm loaf tin, greased and dusted with flour

1.Preheat the oven to 170oC/325oF/Gas 3.

2.Put the sugar and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger to the sugar mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the egg mixture.

4.Pour in the melted butter and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


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