• 125g butter
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 150mls milk
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Large handful of sultanas

First I should say that there is absolutely nothing experimental about this. Well, nothing other from the fact I added a few sultanas and also increased the baking time. It felt like an experiment though because I felt a bit lost when my cake was still more sloppy mixture than cake-like when I tested it. It’s the oven. It never really recovered from baking 150 croissants in a day during the Bake Off practice. The buttons melted. The rubber seal fell off. It gave up. Lucky I have another oven really. How spoilt.

I would say this is a very fine banana loaf indeed. I have some weird ongoing obsession with trying every banana loaf recipe known to man. I don’t know why. I want to find one that doesn’t taste healthy. The problem being that for me, banana, by its very nature, tastes of health food. One day… (Ponders what banana-lard cake might taste like.)

This makes a whopping loaf and the recipe is by the wonderful and tall and dashing (I can say that ’cause I’ve met him) Eric Lanlard from his book Home Bake though I have messed with it as I can be relied upon to do. So no nuts. And some uninvited dried fruit. And no poppy seeds. Sorry Eric. It’s not like I know best or anything but I can’t help myself.

125g butter

175g soft brown sugar

2 eggs

300g plain flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

150mls milk

3 very ripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla extract

Large handful of sultanas

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C. Grease a 25 x 11cm loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift in half the flour and all of the bicarb, stir with a metal spoon. Then add in the milk and the rest of the flour. Give it a good mix with the spoon again.

Fold in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and the sultanas then pop in the loaf tin and level with a spoon. Bake for about 1 hour, though my pesky oven meant I baked this for 1 hour 15 minutes maybe even more. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before releasing the beast. If you get impatient it will fall about in pieces. Very nice with an incredibly British cup of tea though I think Eric might prefer a coffee somehow.

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