Lord forbid I thrust us back to memories of a Covid-style Groundhog Day, but I thought posting the recipe for our banana bread, might be a good idea, seeing that quite a few cities have been locked down once more. We’re not locked down here in Suffolk thank goodness, but my thoughts are with everyone who are, especially freshers who are away from home for the first time, in a strange city and without the sociability factor that normally accompanies the first few weeks of a university move.
The most simple and delicious of loaf cakes united us all during lockdown back in March. We patiently ripened our bananas, and proudly filled our pantries with our delicious homed baked goodness. Banana bread trended on Twitter, it was the discussion of many a Facebook post, and was one of the recipes that connected us together and to our kitchens for maybe the first time in ages. For some maybe it was the very first thing you’d ever baked before? But most of all it was a delicious addition to all our breakfast and teatime plates
At Gastrono-me we’ve been serving it for two years, long before any loathsome pandemic raised its ugly head. We serve it slightly toasted and with a delicious honeyed mascarpone cream, a homemade berry compote, a tumble of fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup for extra decadence.
I truly hope that if where you are in the world is locked down, that this new way of serving your banana bread will bring you some comfort at a difficult time.
Banana BreadCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy
315g self-raising flour
110g light brown sugar
110g caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
350g mashed banana
1 large free-range egg
60ml vegetable oil
120g toasted walnuts
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Mascarpone icing
250g mascarpone cheese
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
- Spread the walnuts out on a lined baking sheet, toast lightly for 3-5 mins, being careful that they don’t catch.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, sugars and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, add the milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract.
- Prepare a 2lb loaf tin, by greasing with butter and lining with baking parchment in a central strip – this will allow you to lift the loaf out when ready.
- Incorporate the wet banana ingredients into the dry flour mix and stir lightly until flour traces are longer visible, lastly stir the walnuts into the mix, reserving some for the top of the loaf.
- Pour the mix into the prepared loaf, and top with the remainder of the walnuts.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for around an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown – when inserted, a toothpick should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for ten minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Whilst the banana bread is cooling, mix the ingredients together for the mascarpone topping.
- To serve, slather two thick slices of banana bread with the creamy mascarpone mix. To be extra decadent top with fresh berries and mint sprigs the way we do at Gastrono-me.
- Drizzle with extra honey and some fruit compote for even more indulgence.