Sunday, May 11, 2008

...Mmm, luscious moist delicious banana bread…

Two years ago, Cyclone Larry wiped out 90 percent of the banana crop in North Queensland, and bananas hit the unbelievable price of over $12 a kilo (when you could find any). But the crops are now flourishing again and bananas are plentiful and life is good.

So, even though I don’t normally eat bananas, the price makes me pick up a couple every time I see them in the supermarket. So, what do you do with them? One of my favorites is to make a hot caramel sauce to drizzle over. The other is to make…banana bread. Admittedly, the banana bread idea was spurred on by Not Quite Nigella’s brilliant
banana bread bake off, so here is my entry.

I went through my collection of Donna Hay and delicious magazines to find a good recipe, and this one stood out because it filled my criteria of a) not too many ingredients and b) using melted butter instead of creaming it (good because the weather is getting cool and butter takes ages to soften).

And the result is fantastic – it is a mouth-watering bread that is not too heavy, studded with walnuts (can be substituted with craisins/cranberries). Straight out of the oven, it is great with more butter gently melting into it. Or it can be eaten cold (again with slatherings of butter - not exactly healthy, but all things in moderation, etc!).

I suppose the final word goes to my mother, who has sampled banana bread in cafés all across town – she said of mine: ‘very nice, very moist’. I’m a happy daughter! PS: Happy Mother's Day.

Banana bread

Ingredients (serves 8)

1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2/3 firmly packed cup (150g) dark brown sugar
100g walnut crumbs or chopped walnuts
3 large over-ripe bananas
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Lightly grease an 11cm x 22cm loaf pan and line base and 2 long sides with a sheet of baking paper, leaving 2cm overhanging.
2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl with the brown sugar, then add the nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher, then stir in the eggs, vanilla extract and cooled melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they're just combined - don't overmix.
4. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the loaf in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into 8-10 slices.

This banana bread will keep in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, or frozen in individual slices for up to 1 month.

Recipe from delicious. September 2007

Truly delicious!


  1. That looks fabulous Belle! Thanks so much for your entry :)

  2. Mothers are usually such tough critics.. well, my mother is, anyway. This cake getting the big thumbs up from your mom must be high praise indeed!

  3. Thanks Lorraine. Can't wait to see your winner.

    hello y - yeah, mothers are soooo hard to please. I breathed a sigh of relief when she approved of this!

  4. gosh that is one lovely slab of butter youve got there! i can feel my heart pounding mmm delish! i like your innards shot of your loaf

  5. Thanks, chocolatesuze. I don't think I'll ever make it as a food stylist, though. Wouldn't that be a dream job?

  6. lol actually i did work experience at donna hay with the food stylist team apparently its very hard to get a job tho unless you have connections

  7. chocolatesuze, you are a lucky duck to have worked at Donna Hay (though I heard she is a bit of a Martha Stewart perfectionist).