7 Feb 2010

Banana & walnut loaf

I am a big fan of bread type cakes, fruit loaves, tea bread or anything similar that contains fruit and nuts. This is a great way to use bananas that are past their best, and hopefully you’ll find most of the other ingredients in the fridge or stashed away in a cupboard somewhere. If I’m feeling in the mood for chocolate I’ll swap the walnuts for chunks of roughly chopped chocolate, only the best chocolate of course.

Banana & walnut loaf
Makes one medium size loaf

100g butter
150g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2-3 ripe bananas
100g walnuts
Fresh nutmeg
Icing sugar to decorate

Oven 180˚C
Medium loaf tin
22cm x 10cm x 7cm deep, approximately a 1lb/450g loaf tin

Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream together using a wooden spoon, this is much easier if the butter is at room temperature and cut into small pieces. Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time mixing well to incorporate before adding the next. Use a sieve to sift in the flour and baking powder and again mix well to combine. The mixture at this point will be rather thick and dough like.

In a separate bowl mash the bananas then add to the cake mix and fold in quickly using a metal spoon. Roughly chop the walnuts into pieces and add, along with three or four light gratings of fresh nutmeg. To make a banana and chocolate cake simply replace the walnut pieces with chunks of chocolate.

Line a medium sized loaf tin with baking paper or grease well and dust with flour. Pour in the cake mix using a spatula or similar to smooth over the surface. Bake in the middle of the oven until firm and springy to the touch for about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve as it is, with a dusting of icing sugar, or decorate with thick white icing and crushed walnuts.

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