Thursday 25th May 2017 27° East Sussex, England
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning…
Somehow my bedroom window blind collapsed in the middle of the night, waking me up with a crash and blinding me with the bright morning light. Lying in bed listening to the sound of the birds and trying to fall back to sleep, I suddenly started craving banana bread. Warm and squidgy sweet banana sponge with a crisp crust, draped in cold salty butter and English honey.
And because I’m lucky enough to be able to fill my days with whatever I like doing these days, I turned my dreams into reality and spent this gorgeous sunshine-y day in the kitchen, mastering the perfect banana loaf. I think it makes a perfect breakfast or afternoon treat and it always makes me think of sunny Australia… it’s a famous brekkie staple over there! Plus, as someone who cannot STAND food waste (actually, waste of any kind is my worst thing) it genuinely makes me happy to rescue the limp and lacklustre bananas in the fruit bowl and put them to good use.
I kept my banana bread relatively purist and followed Felicity Cloake’s tried and tested recipe, just adding walnuts to the mix. I have to say I’m really loving learning to cook at the moment and I’m so proud of how it turned out! Hopefully as I become more dextrous, I’ll be able to get more creative… the addition of chocolate chips, cinnamon, ginger, pecan nuts, seeds and fruits like apples, blueberries, raspberries or cherries all sound like yummy options.
Although it might look a bit crumbly in the photos, I promise you that is just because I was too hungry to wait for the loaf to cool, and instead I cut a large slice straight away, piled my plate high with fresh fruit and disappeared down the bottom of the garden to sunbathe… feeling very Australian in the 27° heat! I enjoyed mine this afternoon with strawberries, cherries, peaches and a mint lime soda but I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning to toast a slice and enjoy it with vanilla coconut yoghurt and a hot cup of tea.
Banana and Walnut Australian Banana Bread
350g ripe bananas (peeled weight)
180g plain flour, plus extra for the tin
2½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
160g soft, light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp melted butter, plus extra to grease, slightly cooled
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Put two-thirds of the peeled banana chunks into a bowl and mash until smooth. Roughly mash the remainder and stir in gently.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, and grease and lightly flour a baking tin about 21x9x7cm.
3. Put the sugar, eggs and melted butter in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk them until pale and slightly increased in volume. Fold in the bananas and the dry ingredients until you can see no more flour, then fold in the walnuts.
4. Spoon into the tin and bake for about an hour until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a rack to cool completely.
Enjoy 💛 love from lydia x