Banana Bread 819 1024 gastronome

Banana Bread

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.

Stay safe!

Banana Bread

Recipe by Gemma SimmoniteCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy


Large loaf
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 315g self-raising flour

  • 110g light brown sugar

  • 110g caster sugar

  • 3tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 350g mashed banana

  • 120ml milk

  • 1 large free-range egg

  • 60ml vegetable oil

  • 120g toasted walnuts

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Mascarpone icing
  • 250g mascarpone cheese

  • 85g honey

  • 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.
Livin’ on the Vedge 874 1024 gastronome

Livin’ on the Vedge

I give you our Livin’ on the Veg sandwich to try. It’s a very popular tasty simple sandwich on our Gastrono-me menu. This is a low effort recipe for the start of the new year if you’re like me and still fagged out from the festivities (and truth be told, the fizz).

It’ss hummus packed full of goodness, includes all sorts of veggies and spices, and as with all of my recipes, you can adapt it exactly to what you like. Tweak the heat factor up or down, swap out things you like or dislike, but most of all enjoy!

Livin’ on the Vedge

Recipe by Gemma SimmoniteCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • Two slices of any kind of rustic bread, more for its hold-together properties than anything else

  • Home-made or shop bought hummus (Moorish make a tasty smoked one)

  • A handful of roasted peppers and onions A spoonful or two of Ruby Slaw (see recipe below)

  • Baby spinach

  • A spoonful of sauerkraut – take a risk, it’s really good!

  • A drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, or hot sauce of your choice

  • Half an avocado sliced

  • For the Ruby Slaw
  • 1 small head of red cabbage

  • 2 red onions thinly sliced

  • 4 carrots grated

  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 30g roughly-chopped walnuts 25g sultanas

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Lightly toast the bread on both sides, this is to make it stronger for all the fillings we’re going to add, plus gives it a lovely crunch.
  • Slather both sides very generously with hummus.
  • Start layering one side only with the sauerkraut.
  • Next with a layer of the Ruby Slaw – see recipe below
  • Then some spinach leaves.
  • Then some of the roasted vegetables. Finish your layers with slices of avocado.
  • Sprinkle a little sweet chilli sauce over the top, this plays against the hummus very nicely.
  • Season with salt and pepper and top with the lid.
  • Ruby Slaw
  • Toss all the ingredients together, and season to taste.


  • The ruby slaw will keep beautifully in the fridge for up to five days. It makes a delicious colourful accompaniment to absolutely anything – delicious in a burger, as a side to meats, a wintery pie, or the topping on a jacket potato.