Don’t get me wrong, I love bananas, however once they start to turn brown I won’t touch them. I like them almost under ripe so that the fruit inside is still firm.
So, what are you meant to do with all of those bananas that you forgot about in the back of your cupboard or in your fruit bowl that are now past their best by quite some way?
For me, the answer has to be banana bread. It is utterly delicious and the natural sweetness of the fruit lends itself perfectly to baking! While it’s still not as healthy as eating bananas by themselves, it’s at least slightly better than a cupcake smothered in copious amounts of butter icing or a deep fried, sugar coated doughnut.
When I told one of my friends that I was making banana bread they threw up a bit of a par-larva about the name. Which to be fair is understandable seeing as, strictly speaking, banana bread is more of a loaf- shaped cake.
Personally I’ve never understood the difference between banana bread and banana cake, and seeing as I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation I’m guessing that it probably isn’t all that significant! In fact, categorising it as a bread rather than a cake just legitimises it’s consumption at any time or hour of the day (i.e. making eating cake for breakfast socially acceptable), explaining why this is such a popular and successful recipe!
The great thing about banana bread is that it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been sitting in the back of your cupboard for forgotten about. In fact, in order to make the best banana bread it’s a well known fact that your bananas should be so ripe that they practically dance into the oven by themselves.
When I’m in need of a recipe quite frankly there’s only one person to turn to, and that is of course the queen of baking Mary Berry. This recipe has everything you’d want from banana bread, it’s moist, hearty and packed full of flavour!
I’ve added blueberries to the recipe but this isn’t strictly necessary, it just depends on how adventurous you are with your banana bread. Feel free to stick to the classic recipe or make your own additions such as chocolate chips, raspberries, peanut butter chips etc etc…
Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf Recipe
100g Softened Butter
175g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
225g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tbsp. Milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
- Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with greased proof paper.
- Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. At this point you can sprinkle a few oats on top before baking.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Happy Baking! x