It was always going to be hard choosing my first recipe. What could I choose that would sum me up? this blog? appeal to others? Eventually, I decided my first recipe would be for banana bread, because who doesn’t love coming home to a cup of tea or coffee with a slice of homemade cake?
Growing up it seems I was forever surrounded by baking. My mum used to bake birthday, christening and wedding cakes for friends and family, one of my nans always had a fresh ‘cut and come again’ cake in the pantry (changing to mince pies at Christmas) and the other used to make Welsh Cakes with us during the school holidays. Some of my favourite childhood memories are filled with waking up to the smells of a fresh cake in the oven, watching my mum pour the mixture into the cake tin, desperately eyeing the spatula to lick clean, and sneaking into my nan’s kitchen to try a Welsh Cake before they had cooled properly.
When I visited a close friend in Australia 4 years ago, I discovered a cake that wasn’t a family tradition – banana bread. Whether it was on a cold train coming back from the Blue Mountains, sitting in the Botanical Gardens with a good book in Sydney Harbor or gathering with friends in Brisbane, a fresh slice of banana bread was always on offer. To keep hold of that holiday feeling, I tried several recipes for banana bread on my return home and struck gold when I found The Hummingbird Bakery’s Banana Loaf. Although The Hummingbird Bakery calls it a Banana Loaf I still call it Banana Bread to remind myself of those carefree days in Australia. And, as it’s easy to bake, uses up over-ripened bananas, fills the flat with the most delicious smells and, most importantly, is delicious, you’ll often find a piece sitting on my kitchen counter!
I hope you enjoy it too! x
270g soft light brown sugar
200g peeled and over-ripe bananas, mashed
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
140g unsalted butter, melterd
a 23 x 13cm loaf tin, greased and dusted with flour
Makes 8 – 10 slices
1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3.
2. Put the sugar and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (I use a handheld electric whisk for this) and bead well until well incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger into the sugar mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are well mixed. Stir in the melted butter.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared load tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.