It is almost a rule with every baker. If you have over-ripe bananas in the kitchen, you make banana bread!! It is one of the marvels of baking that this recipe transforms those sludgy, sickly sweet, almost black bananas, fit only for the dust bin into a rustic, homey, comforting cake, that once made will be a regular at your home.
I remember the first time, I heard about a banana bread, I was sceptical. The two words just did not seem to pair together. I couldn't be more wrong. The word 'bread' out here refers to the technique used, better known as the 'quick bread' method. You have two bowls of dry and wet ingredients and then you mix the two with a spatula, taking care NOT to mix it too thoroughly and you are done. Remember, smoother the batter, the tougher your cake will be!!
The batter is all straight forward. The addition of the mashed, ripe bananas is what makes this loaf beautifully moist. The walnuts are optional but they do add a nice texture.
You will be alerted to the cinnamon in this cake while it is still in the oven. That feel-good aroma of cinnamon will take over your kitchen and remind you why nothing can beat a cake baked at home!
Straight out of the oven, a slice of this warm cake is instantaneously comforting. While you will taste the bananas, they are not overpowering and with the cinnamon, the flavour is uplifted.
This is not a pretty cake. It is rustic cake that is perfect for weekend baking at home. Lazing around in your PJ's, reading a book with a cup of coffee and a slice or two of this cake will all make for a perfect Sunday afternoon and make that Monday morning bearable!!
Recipe courtesy : 'Joy of Baking'. Makes one - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf. The recipe can easily be halved, but then do use a tin with smaller dimensions.
- 1 3/4 cup (230 gms) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 gms) granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 ripe large bananas, mashed well
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarsely (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Grease and line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
- With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do NOT want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.)
- Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.
- Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.