Saturday, 21 February 2009

Banana Bread

This is the first recipe anyone hesitant about baking should try: it's fabulously easy and fills the kitchen with that aromatic fug which is the natural atmospheric setting for the domestic goddess - Nigella Lawson

OMG I can't believe I haven't baked anything for the blog for over 6 months! - RoseRed

The verdict: Yes, it really is a very good banana bread - I just finished the last piece today, a week after making it, and it was still moist and deliciously banana-y. I've been, somewhat indulgently, eating it for breakfast, but it would be the perfect morning or afternoon tea cake - because it is very cake-y, not so much with the bread-y.
Unusual or substituted ingredients: I'm not sure I've had a banana bread with sultanas in it before - I almost didn't use them, but decided I would, since how would I know if it was a good idea unless I tried it? And it was a good idea, as was the idea to heat the sultanas in a small amount of rum before adding them to the mix - it's barely discernable in the end product, but it just adds that certain something. You could, of course, leave out the sultanas and/or the alcohol if you wanted and I'm sure it would still be an excellent banana bread.

Special utensils or cookware: None at all. I used a silicone loaf pan (love my lovely tupperware) and it came out very cleanly, I suspect it would do the same in a regular loaf pan.

Nigella does ask you, in the method, to combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt) in a bowl and combine it with a wooden spoon or your hands. You then mix the combined dry ingredients into the buter/sugar/egg/banana mix. While I did this, to be honest I can't see the point of combining it in a separate bowl. Next time, I'll just put them all in a sifter and sift them into the wet ingredients. Nigella doesn't say to sift the flour, and there may be a reason for this, but it seems to be a much easier way of achieving a similar outcome!!

(Also, a word of warning and reassurance - the wet mix - butter, sugar, eggs, banana - looks a whole lot like ... erm ... curdled vomit (sorry!) while you are mixing it. But once you add the flour, it looks just like a regular cake mix - so don't think you've done something wrong if it looks a bit off initially, ok!)

Repeatability: I would definitely make this again. I always seem to have overripe bananas, and this is a great recipe for using them up. Like all banana cake/bread recipes, there is an indication of the number or weight of ripe bananas you should use - me, I just use what I've got (as long as it isn't a ridiculously different number) - I don't worry if it is one more or one less banana, it all seems to work out in the end.
Sauciness: Sticky and moist and delicious!

Overall pleasure level: I give this 8.5 out of 10. I do love a banana recipe, especially one that keeps so well. Yum.