If you, like me, often buy the BIGGEST bunch of bananas, with the best intentions….and despite these noble intentions, there are inevitably some casualties who have over-stayed their welcome in the fruit bowl. Never fear! These bananas, the sickly wounded soldiers, make the best banana bread.
This recipe is adapted from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess. After trying loads of different recipes, this is still my banana bread of choice. Add ½ cup of roughly chopped dark chocolate instead of sultanas for a more decadent bread. Omit alcohol if this is a treat to be shared with the little ones; definitely keep the alcohol step of this recipe if this is a dessert for deserving Dads.
½ cup of sultanas
6 tablespoons of rum (or Pimms to get into the British spirit, seeing as this is a Nigella recipe)
1 ½ cup of cake flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup of melted butter
2/3 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 small very ripe mashed bananas
½ cup of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
If you are making the bread for adults, put the sultanas in a small saucepan, splash over the rum or Pimms, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat cover and set aside for as long as you can (preferably an hour), so the sultanas can absorb most of the liquid. Drain when you're ready to use.
Set the oven to 325F. Put the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
In a larger bowl, mix the sugar and melted butter and beat together with a hand-held or standing mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the mashed bananas. With a wooden spoon, add the walnuts (leave out if someone has allergies), drained sultanas and vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour mixture, a third at a time, making sure it is well combined after each addition. Scrape into a loaf tin ( 9 x 5 x 3 inches ) and bake in the middle of the oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. When it is ready, a toothpick can be inserted and it should come away cleanish. Keep bread in tin to cool, preferably on a rack.
Sliced thick or thin, this is a treat for every time of the day. If only it counted towards one of our five a day. Sigh…