Banana loaf

There is many a version of banana cake / bread out there. I've baked and sampled my fair share but I do have a couple of trusted go-to recipes that I use for those over-ripening bananas in my fruit bowl.

Recently, a friend of mine served me up some Aussie-style banana loaf. It had been thickly sliced, toasted and then slathered with butter. Indulgently yummy! Very different to the nutritious after-school snack I prepare for my kids - with oats for added goodness. But on a chilly winter's morn, a slice of this banana loaf proves to be rather comforting. I wasn't able to snap up the recipe in time, and my friend has flown home to Australia...so I had to make do with hunting through the recipes on taste.com.au. With a bit of tweaking, I've managed to replicate my friend's delicious recipe - so here it goes:

265g self-raising flour

40g plain flour

40g caster sugar

100g light muscovado sugar

125ml semi-skimmed milk

2 free-range eggs, lightly whisked

1tsp vanilla extract

50g butter, melted, cooled

2 overripe medium bananas, mashed 

Equipment: 2lb loaf tin (base measurements 11 x 21cm) & loaf tin greaseproof liner

I prefer to use greaseproof liners for loaf tins as a time-saving tactic. They also make for a better looking loaf. I have been greasing cake tins since I was a wee girl - a task my mother liked to delegate. So whenever possible I use a greaseproof liner! Lakeland sells these fab loaf tin liners in packs of 40 - that's money well spent in my kitchen. http://www.lakeland.co.uk/5553/2lb-Loaf-Tin-Liners

Method

- Preheat oven to 180°C. If you're not using a greaseproof liner, grease an 11 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf tin with butter. Line the base and 2 ends with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.

-  Sieve the flours and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.

- Place the milk, eggs, melted butter and mashed banana in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour the banana mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

- Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. The loaf is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This loaf tastes delicious when warm. If eating after it has thoroughly cooled, I recommend toasting slices, spreading them with butter and eating with a cup of tea. Yum!