This fabulous banana bread recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. The only reason I’ve adapted it is because I don’t like raisins or walnuts, so I’ve omitted them from the recipe and added a splash of brandy in place of Nigella’s recommended rum-soaked raisins. I make this recipe all the time – it’s perfect for using up over-ripe bananas and it makes a scrummy breakfast with a cup of coffee.
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder (not too heaped, or it’ll erupt over the side – I use measuring spoons to get the right quantity)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (as above)
125g unsalted butter, melted
150g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A splash of brandy or similar (Amaretto works well too)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease your trusty loaf tin. I use a loaf tin liner as it’s much easier; this doesn’t need greasing and you can simply lift the cake straight from the tin. Melt the butter. At this stage I like to weigh out all the dry ingredients so that they’re ready for later.
Mix the melted butter with the sugar and beat together well.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. I’m using these cute little eggs laid by my parents’ chickens.
Mash the bananas, or blend them, and mix those in. I like to blend rather than mash the bananas, as I find it produces a smoother, lighter texture in the finished cake.
Stir in the vanilla essence and add a splash of brandy. If you don’t have anything suitable, it’s fine without.
Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda a little bit at a time, until smooth. The recipe says to add the dry ingredients a third at a time, but I find that this has a tendency to produce little lumps of flour in the finished cake. Instead, I use a sieve and add tiny amounts of flour at a time, stirring all the while. It takes longer, but it mixes the flour in much more reliably.
Turn the mixture out into the loaf tin and bake for about an hour to an hour and a quarter. When it’s done, a skewer will come out more or less clean.
When it’s done, it’ll look all golden on top, like this:
It can be eaten warm from the oven, perhaps with some custard, and it’ll keep for a few days. We tend to have it for breakfast, but it’s great any time of day. Enjoy!