As I told you in my last post, we have just moved into our new flat and are starting to settle in. The shrewd-eyed of you will have spotted the bunch of bananas sitting on the work top in the photo of our kitchen. I bought them on Friday for essential energy snacks over a weekend of moving and by Monday there were still a few left, browning in the fruit bowl. In an attempt to make our new house feel like our new home, I decided to make the homeliest and most comforting bake of all…banana bread. I was inspired by Joy’s recent post where she did exactly this (although she writes about it so much more eloquently than me!).
Banana bread will forever remind me of home, childhood and my mum, whose recipe this is. And I can say with confidence that it is the best banana bread recipe you will find. It is dense and satisfying, but with a light flavour. The crust is dark and caramelised and inside are bursts of moisture from the banana and raisins. Although my mission of house-to-home was the main reason for baking this banana bread, it also provided much-needed sustenance for us and our handy man (dad) while we spent an evening putting up blinds, cabinets, spice racks and assembling our new bed (we have a bed!).
This is such a brilliant recipe; I really hope you give it a go. It uses basic store cupboard ingredients, plus some old bananas that you may otherwise throw out. And remember, your bananas cannot be too ripe – the squishier the better.
170g light brown muscavado sugar
85g butter, very soft
3 very ripe bananas, weighing approximately 500g unpeeled
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Grease a loaf tin with a little butter and line with a piece of parchment – as shown in the picture below for easy lifting at the end.
2. Cream the butter and sugar. I used my new hand mixer, mainly because I was desperate to take it for a spin, but you can easily do this with a spatula or wooden spoon.
3. Lightly whisk the eggs and add slowly to the butter and sugar, beating vigorously to combine.
4. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the cake mix, along with the raisins.
5. Measure out the dry ingredients and sift into the wet mix. Stir well.
6. Pour the banana bread mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 75 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool.
My favourite piece of the banana bread is the end slice, for maximum caramelised crust area, and I like mine plain with a cup of tea or glass of milk. As you can see, Ross likes his slathered in butter.
I’m not sure if banana bread really is the answer to my house-to-home problem, but it sure tasted good! I guess it’s a slow process, and one day without realising it I will be thinking of this house as “home” instead of my parents’ house (although we lived in the same brilliant flat in Glasgow for 4 years, it was never “home”, always “the flat”). I think the next step is decorating and getting our pictures and photos up on the walls. We’re going to do some painting this weekend, which is exciting but also a little worrying…can I really be trusted not to make a mess with a tin of navy blue paint?! Only time will tell…