I’m Bananas about you…

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I like to dedicate this post to my (ex)colleague Graham who had his last day in the office with us on Friday. I have worked with Graham since I started at i4PD, that’s 6 years of my life and he has been a tremendous colleague and friend. Very considerate, calm, and encouraging to a young designer like myself. I have learnt so much from Graham, not only about design or engineering but other life matters too. I will miss him so very much!

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Me and Graham with his leaving hamper

I made this loaf as a final farewell and thank you to Graham. My banana loaf has always been a great hit in the office (usually with colleagues finding black bananas in the kitchen cupboards and giving them to me to bake with).

This recipe is so quick and simple that I forgot to take my ‘process’ photos for you all to see. But maybe that’s the point. You won’t need it! I don’t know if it’s my oven but this loaf always seem to take longer than the recipes I use.

Anyway I have changed the ‘basic’ recipe slightly as I like to add a few other ingredients when I make it and for starters I think this is pretty damn good for you to try if making at home!

Ingredients

  • 140g soft butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 / 3 large very ripe bananas (the blacker the better!)
  • 2 large handfuls of walnuts broken into bits (you can break them up by hand)
  • Optional 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds (Mike’s mum gave me a tub of these, some kind of latest health food, but they’re great in this and muffins).
  • Optional 2 handfuls of chopped dates (my first time using this ingredient in this loaf so thought I’d mention it now).

Method

Firstly it’s good practice to measure and prepare all your ingredients listed above before starting on the method below. This keeps you in check so you don’t miss any ingredients while you make cake. I like to prepare the ingredients into bowls and dishes – just like on tv! It’s up to you but I think it’s more organised and tidier this way (even if it means more washing in the end!).

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a loaf tin with baking paper – I use these liners. You can buy these in most supermarkets (I bought mine from Poundland, bargain!).
  2. I’m sure like most people I keep the butter in the fridge. This makes it too hard for baking with so for speed I usually blast the butter in the microwave for 30-60 seconds before beating it with the sugar. Try not to fully melt the butter, check in the microwave now and again.
  3. Right – prepare your bananas! Mush them up in a bowl using the back of a fork and add the walnuts and whatever else you want (Chia seeds/chopped dates/chocolate chips/fudge – honestly whatever you fancy).
  4. In another bowl cream your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. And in another separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder. Add a spoonful of this flour mix to the butter mix and then add the eggs one at a time.
  6. Fold in the remaining flour and add the banana mix. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30-60* mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.

*I apologise for this hugely inaccurate baking time. 30 minutes has never worked for me and it always end up being 45-60 minutes to bake. I would try 30 minutes first – check the loaf with a skewer or knife, if it’s not done put it back in the over and bake for another 10-15 minutes or longer until the skewer comes out clean. My point is – keep checking your loaf after the first 30 minutes.

By the way since writing this I have now tried (eaten) the loaf with the added chopped dates. I personally find it slightly too sweet but you can try it and see for yourself.

Also, you’ll notice in the image below that I used Whitworths chopped dates and walnuts bag mix. I spotted them in the baking section of a supermarket and bought some other mixes to try as well – think I’ll be making cookies with their ‘choc salted caramel’ next.

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Sprinkles

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Chia seeds

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