There were three rather sad, brown and mushy looking bananas lurking in the fruit bowl, inviting only one thing: banana bread. I adapted this recipe slightly and it worked brilliantly. The use of buttermilk helps to keep it moist, the sultanas add sweetness and it rose beautifully in the oven.
Some people have an instinct for when to knock on the door and Claire, my brother-in-law’s wife, is clearly one. She buzzed 20 minutes after I’d taken it out the oven and we tucked in right away. It was still warm enough for the butter to melt in luxuriously and a mighty fine example of why over-ripe bananas should never be thrown away….
100g unsalted butter
150g soft brown sugar
3 small over-ripe bananas
50g walnuts broken up a bit
280g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate soda
What to do with them
1. Take a loaf baking tin (mine is 20cm x 9cm). Cut out a piece of baking paper to fit the bottom of the tin, then grease the tin so the banana bread doesn’t stick.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C
2. Whisk or whizz up the butter and sugar until it is creamy
3. Mix in the eggs one at a time. The mixture might separate a bit but don’t worry.
4. Add and stir in the buttermilk.
5. Mash up the banana (it’s quite nice to leave some chunks, I think, but this is a matter of taste), then add to the mixture along with the sultanas and walnuts.
6. Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and fold in.
7. Pour the mixture into the tin and level off.
8. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 mins or 1 hour if you like it quite gooey. It should be well-risen and golden brown and is ready when a skewer or knife comes out clean (or near clean) when inserted into the cake.
9. Cool for 20 minutes before tucking in!