Banana bread is a staple in any baker’s repertoire and this recipe doesn’t even call for a hand mixer so it’s perfect for beginners. If you don’t even have a loaf tin you could always make mini banana bread muffins, a delicious breakfast treat, just adjust the cooking time down as necessary. A classic banana loaf always goes down a treat especially with a cup of tea. If your bananas are going off in the fruit bowl with the recent bout of warm weather this is the perfect way to use them up. The riper they are the better – they will add more moisture and sweetness to this otherwise refined sugar-free recipe. If you have more of a sweet tooth you could always mix in some dark chocolate chips or a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It’s also great with a handful of chopped walnuts or raisins.
Makes one loaf
l 3 small ripe bananas
l 2 tbsp apple juice, not from concentrate
l 2 tbsp maple syrup
l 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
l 2 free range eggs
l 225g self-raising flour
l ½ tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 180℃/160°Fan/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a one litre loaf tin with baking paper. Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork. You don’t want to completely pulverise them, leaving a bit of texture is nice as you get little pockets of banana throughout the loaf. Stir through the apple juice and set aside. Cream the butter in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon and then whisk in the eggs one at a time making sure they are combined well. It will look curdled at this point but don’t worry. Sieve and then fold in the flour and cinnamon gently. You want to avoid knocking too much air out at this point so you get a nice cracked top on your loaf. Stir in the banana and apple mixture with the maple syrup until evenly distributed. Carefully pour the mixture into the loaf tin and pop in the oven for 40-45 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely if you can wait that long before you steal a slice! This keeps for several days if kept in an airtight container at room temperature or also freezes quite well.