7 May 2013

Nigella Challenge: Banana Bread

"This is the first recipe anyone hesitant about baking should try: it's fabulously easy and fills the kitchen with that aromatic fug which is the natural atmospheric setting for the domestic goddess."
~ Nigella Lawson ~

And that, my friends, is all the explanation and inspiration you will need!

Just a note, I made one of the variations listed in the book - a chocolate banana cake.
  • 100g sultanas (an optional, which I didn't opt for)
  • 75ml bourbon or dark rum (optional, only needed for sultanas)
  • 150g plain flour (175g for plain cake)
  • 25g cocoa powder (optional - only if making chocolate version)
  • 125g chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small ripe bananas (about 300g), mashed
  • 60g chopped nuts (Nigella says walnuts, I used pistachios)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
If using sultanas, place them and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside until they are plump and have absorbed most of the liquid.

Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 23x3x7cm loaf tin. 

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and bicarb in a bowl. Using a stick (or other hand-held) mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time - it will be sort of foamy. Add the banana. Stir in nuts, chocolate, vanilla, and sultanas if using. 

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour into tin and bake for 1-1 1/4 hours. Test using the skewer method. Remove from oven and cool in tin.

I was impatient, and cut a slice off while still warm, and that is definitely the most delicious way to eat it - the chocolate all gooey, and the cake soft and warm.