This is a barely adapted, lazier version of Nigella Lawson’s banana bread – not that the original was fussy or anything. You still get a fragrant, slightly sweet, soft cake that is lovely to have with a hot drink, or perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream if you want to get fancy. Just make sure you use really ripe bananas, black and slightly shrivelled, too pungent and squashy to eat – that means it’s intense enough to use in this cake.
Omit or play around with the raisins, nuts, or other additions and toppings as you wish; I just had some pine nuts left over, but flaked almonds, pistachios, and rolled oats are also delicious.
- . 175g plain flour
- . 2 teaspoons baking powder
- . ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- . ½ teaspoon salt
- . 125g unsalted butter, melted (plus a bit extra for greasing)
- . 125g white caster sugar
- . 2 large eggs
- . 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- . 3 - 4 small/medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- . 100g raisins or sultanas
- . A couple of tablespoons pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Grease and line a loaf tin of at least 9” x 3” (23 cm x 7.5 cm) with a little butter and a long strip of baking paper. I cut the paper so it hangs over the short ends of the tin, greasing the unlined sides well.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Set aside for now.
- Beat the melted butter and the sugar together in a large bowl until just blended.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Tip in the mashed bananas and the raisins, combining well.
- Add the flour mixture a third at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- When everything’s smooth and blended, pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin.
- Sprinkle some pine nuts on top, covering the batter well.
- Bake for 1 hour, possibly a little more.
- When it’s ready, the cake should be well-risen and golden, and a cake tester (skewer/toothpick/bit of spaghetti) poked into the middle should come out mostly clean, maybe with a moist crumb stuck to it, but certainly no wet batter.
- Cool in the tin, then slice and eat as you wish.
- This cake will keep wrapped in foil at room temperature for a couple of days.