Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dense and Sticky Banana Bread

I have just looked at when my last post was written, and I’m horrified to see it was over two months ago!! I have no idea where that time went…actually, I know exactly where it went; straight to the library where a cavern full of books awaited me and several essays to write for the end of term beckoned. And that is why food and cooking has taken a massive back seat, which makes me really, really sad. On the bright side university is now over for the summer, which means I have plenty of time on my hands to dedicate to cooking. I celebrated by getting stuck into lots of time in the kitchen!!

This weekend I baked a couple of loaves of bread with a shiny new loaf tin; one packed full of seeds and one covered in oaty goodness, which were absolutely delightful. There is nothing quite as homely and comforting as the smell of fermenting dough and the subsequent aroma of the loaves baking in the oven, which fills the house. Following in the bready theme I made a loaf of banana bread, using a recipe from Sophie Dahl’s
cookbook. It’s a beautiful book and I love to flick through it from time to time, but this is the first time I’ve actually used one of her recipes. This is quite the norm for me: I buy books and books and books, and spend hours perusing the pictures and recipes before I finally settle on one to actually make. There are usually far too many to choose from to make a quick decision!!! Anyway, we had a glut of overripe bananas in the house, so my mission was to use them all up (nine in total - why we had managed to collect nine overripe bananas is beyond me but there you go!) and Banana Bread seemed the obvious first choice.

It’s a wonderfully easy recipe, quick to assemble before waiting patiently for an hour as the bananas caramelise and the batter becomes a soft, sweet and sticky delight! The recipe calls for:

Banana Bread
75g soft unsalted butter
4 overripe bananas, mashed
200 soft brown sugar
1 egg
170g flour (I used self raising flour and forfeited the baking powder she lists as it was all I had in the cupboard)
I also added a sprinkling or cinnamon, just because I like it!!

Combine the butter, mashed bananas, sugar and egg, then add the flour and cinnamon (if you decide to add some) until it’s just combined.
Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees for an hour.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

This recipe produces a dense banana loaf…rather more like a heavy cake than a bread-like end result. I impatiently (as is tradition!) tipped it out of the tin and cut a slice as soon as I could, with a little dab of butter smeared over it. The smell of bananas infused with cinnamon saturated the kitchen, and it was all I could do not to eat slice after slice of this deep caramel coloured indulgence!!

This recipe really is best when you use completely black skinned bananas, as the more overripe they are the better the mashed banana will caramelise while it bakes, resulting in a toffee sweet luxury that will have you sneaking slivers every ten minutes!!


  1. The Banana bread looks lovely, it would go very nicely with my cup of tea. I have 3 bananas might just go out and get another one so I can make this.

  2. This looks so moist and delish - I must try this. Hope you have a wonderful library-free summer! :) Lucie x

  3. wow is that one moist cake. i love banana bread.

  4. FINALLY! I've been so frustrated making banana bread because I couldn't get that delicious stick top. This is going in my recipe book :)

  5. finally^ i agree. ive been begging my mom to make her sticky, dense, banana bread that sticks to the roof of my mouth but she didn't understand - and kept making the complete opposite.

    im baking this right now, and im going to EAT IT UP!

  6. It's so gooood, and with my tiny loaf tin two loaves! Been trying to find a sticky almost gooey banana cake for ages and this is it!


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