27 September 2015

Banana & walnut loaf

Most of the time this is how cooking works for me - firstly I decide on what to make and then I go an buy the ingredients. However, for the past couple of days I had been eyeing the last three bananas that had been in the fruit bowl for a quite some time. And after having one banana with nearly every lunch this week I just could not bring myself to eating those. And there I was - with three bananas that I did not want to eat. Whenever possible I try to make sure that I waste as little (or if possible none) food as I can. So I headed to my cookbook shelf and saw Mary Berry's Baking Bible. As I was in a bit of a bake off mood I decided to flick through it - and there were two amazing banana loaf recipes. Exactly what I wanted! And when I read that one of them is very freezer friendly I was sold.

Most people probably think I'm slightly insane after what I'm going to tell you next. I'm not a massive fan of the way bananas taste like. I find the taste too dominating - whenever you make a smoothie or any other dish and add some banana, that is the only thing you can actually taste! So instead of sticking to the exact recipe I tweaked it a bit by changing some quantities and adding walnuts. 

I was really surprised at how quick and easy this cake was to make. I probably spent 10 minutes preparing it and waiting for the oven to heat up and that was about it. Very fuss free and only used one bowl, so for the people who are not very keen on having to do lots of washing up this recipe is absolutely perfect. And the result - oh my! The cake came out incredibly moist and I found the banana taste was actually quite subtle and the walnuts really added another dimension of flavours and that extra bit of crunchy texture. So after having already eaten my way through one third of the cake I found that it was perfect time to slice it all up, place in a freezer bag with a baking parchment between two slices and store it away for when I need a quick pick-me-up. This definitely makes for a perfect cure for the afternoon energy slump, speedy breakfast on the go or just something one would enjoy with a nice cup of tea. So, if you're like me and have a couple of bananas that you don't know what to do with, this recipe is definitely one to try out. 

- 100g softened butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder 
- 3 tbsp milk
- 100g walnut pieces

Firstly preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a loaf tin and then line it with baking parchment to prevent the loaf from sticking to it. Then place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until everything is well blended. If using an electric mixer add the walnuts after mixing everything else together and mix the nuts in afterwards using a wooden spoon or spatula. Then pour the mixture into the loaf tin and level the surface.

Bake for around 1 hour until well risen and golden brown. Leave it to cool in the tin for the first couple of minutes and then place on a wire rack to allow it to completely cool off. Cut into nice thick slices and enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry's Baking Bible.