I remember the first time I ever tried banana bread. I was visiting my cousin in Montreal who had just had a baby, and her mother (my aunt) was also there. My aunt happens to be a huge cooking fan; she tries out more recipes in a year than I probably have in my whole life! And for breakfast one day, she made mince-stuffed flatbreads (aka “keema ke parathey” in Urdu) along with a darker-than-normal looking bread, which I later discovered to be banana bread. When I came back to London, I couldn’t stop telling my mum about this crazy type of bread with bananas in it that tastes so amazing!
Since then, I’ve become more and more interested in cooking myself and realised banana bread is super popular, and everyone who bakes has tried making it at least once! And so I tried it myself, using Closet Cooking’s recipe as my first. My husband doesn’t like fruit in his desserts (and so an entire Sunday I once spent baking fresh apple cookies was a bit of a waste!) but even he loves banana bread. In fact, I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t!
Later, my aunt introduced me to her favourite banana bread recipe from the Best of Bridge cookbook.
Both of the above are great recipes that I highly recommend. But the one I’ve most recently discovered and keep falling back on this summer is from the Clandestine Cake Club cookbook. I have adapted my version from the original to fit a smaller loaf pan, and added pecan nuts to the mixture (walnuts work excellently too!).
So on my “banana-hit-list” next are the following recipes:
Bánh chuối: this is, apparently, a Vietnamese banana cake. I’ve never actually had Vietnamese food so this would be my first. I’m yet to find a good recipe though… But I don’t see how this could not taste amazing: bananas, coconut milk, bread, sugar… my oh my oh my!
Baked bananas with mascarpone and honey: I mean… Need I say more?!
If you have your own banana bread (or other banana dessert) recipe, do leave a link to your website in the comments below!
* * * * *
65g butter, softened
1 large egg
165 plain flour
¾ tsp baking soda
50ml full-fat milk
¾ tsp lemon juice
¾ tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
2 large bananas, preferably overripe
55g (approx. ¼ cup) chopped pecan nuts/walnuts
First of all, preheat your oven to the temperature you normally do cakes and bakes at (for me, that’s 170 degrees Celcius on a fan-assisted, electric oven). Then, in a food processor, mash the bananas until they are creamy. Take out and set aside.
In the same mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the egg and mix again. Measure the milk and add the lemon juice to it. Add this mix, along with the vanilla paste/extract to the egg mix.
Separately, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add this gradually to the batter and mix to combine, being careful not to over-mix. Finally, stir in the chopped nuts.
Pour the batter into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper, and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Wait till it cools before slicing, or you’ll find it falls apart quite easily!