As I have mentioned before, I am forever at the will of my cravings. If a sudden whim for banana bread takes me then I need that banana bread as soon as possible. Waiting three days for the green bananas in my fruit bowl to ripen is not going to cut it. And they are always green when I want banana bread. I’m one of those people who can only really enjoy a banana if it’s still green at the ends. The moment they turn yellow and become soft and sweeter I lose all interest in them and have to be coaxed into eating them.
This recipe is great because there is no waiting around for the bananas to reach the perfect squishy over-ripeness which banana bread requires. Roasting the fruit also intensifies their sweetness, meaning that you can add less sugar to the recipe. The chai spices are really yummy with this, I love sweet banana and fragrant cardamom together, they’re just perfect.
If you want to chuck a handful of nuts or seeds or even some booze-soaked dried fruit into the mix then be my guest. This is best served thickly sliced and slathered in creamy butter but I’ve also been known to fry slices of it in a little butter and serve it with fresh raspberries and a drizzle of syrup for pudding.
I did read a tip somewhere recently which said that banana bread tends to sink less in the middle if you only grease the base and lower portion of your loaf tin.
makes 1 loaf
2 smallish bananas
100g plain flour
50g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp chai spices
2 tbsp light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla paste
35g butter, melted
Start by roasting the un-peeled bananas in an oven heated to 180°c for around 20 minutes (depending on their size and ripeness). They should be quite black once they are done. Leave the bananas to cool, but keep the oven on.
Sift the flours, spices and raising agents into a mixing bowl and combine with the salt and sugar.
In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Mash the flesh of the bananas into this until you have a sloppy, lumpy mess. Stir in the melted butter.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture, all in one go. Give the whole lot a very brief mix, until it is only just combined, you don’t want to over mix or it will become dense and heavy.
Grease the bottom and lower 1 inch of a loaf tin and then pour in the batter. You can scatter some seeds or nuts across the top if you like. Bake the banana bread for about 30 minutes, until you can poke it with a skewer and it comes out clean.
Leave the banana bread to cool and if you can possibly resist it wrap it up and leave it for a day, banana bread is always better the next day.