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Pennoyer's "Bake Force" Recipe

Banana Loaf
Banana Loaf is a useful standby when you have a houseful of hungry guests at Christmas.  Quick and easy to make, it keeps for up to a week and the flavour improves with storage.  It’s a great alternative to the dried-fruit dominance of Christmas cakes and bakes.  It can be eaten sliced on its own, with a scrape of butter at tea time or even toasted for breakfast.  Perfect on a cold day with a steaming mug of tea.  
Tip:

Very ripe bananas are essential, the blacker the better.  Rather than binning an escapee banana, however beyond eating it appears to be, just pop it in the freezer.  There’s no need even to bag – nature has wrapped it already!  Defrost in a bowl, unpeeled, for an hour before use and you’ll find it’s very soft and almost ready-mashed.  

Ingredients

220g light muscovado sugar with 50g dark muscovado sugar   1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs  1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
220g mashed banana (2 or 3 bananas)  1 tsp baking powder
280g plain flour   140g melted salted butter
1 tsp ground ginger  

 

Preheat the oven to 170˚C (fan), Gas Mark 3.  Grease a 13 x 23cm (2lb) loaf tin, then dust very lightly with flour. 

Whisk together the eggs with both sugars until the mix is thick and creamy.  Beat through the mashed banana - if you're using frozen as recommended above, you can just squash them as you drop them in - the freezing process softens them to mash consistency. 

Mix in the dry ingredients until they're properly incorporated, but don't beat for too long, as this will toughen the loaf.  Finally, stir in the melted butter until it's completely combined.  

Pour the batter into the tin & bake in the middle of the oven for about 60 minutes until firm, and a skewer comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely (turn it the right way up, though!)  

Store for up to a week wrapped in tin foil; it really is better if you leave it for a couple of days before starting as the flavour really develops.

Makes 8 generous slices. 

Alternatives & extras:

  • If you don't have both sugars, you can make it with light muscovado alone, it just won't be as rich.  
  • For a festive touch, add a handful of dried cranberries (although you'll lose that 'dried fruit free' selling point at Christmas).  
  • Throw in a handful of big juicy golden sultanas if you like, or roughly chopped walnuts.  
  • To 'tart up' the loaf, although it's not really necessary, you can split it and fill with butterscotch butter icing.  Just add a teaspoonful of black treacle to your usual butter icing recipe.  Splitting it twice horizontally makes it look more special, but you do need a steady hand.   
  • A coffee-flavoured glace icing looks good, although bear in mind it may discolour if kept for more than a day or two.   

 

lottery funded logoThe Pennoyer Centre, Station Rd, Pulham St Mary IP21 4QT Tel: 01379 676660 email: admin@pennoyers.org.uk

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