Banana bread with macadamia nuts

March 1, 2010

I learned from Orangette the technique of throwing age-mottled over-ripened bananas into the freezer for baking later. They look very underwhelming when you take them out, all blackened and sludgy, but if you can get past peeling off the slimy skin you’ll have a little puddle of pure, fragrant banana bread gold.

This was so easy I was suspicious: whizz bananas, butter, egg and milk in the blender and stir into a bowl of flour, sugar and chopped nuts. I thought my batter was a bit thick, but I shoved it in the oven and hoped for the best. Within minutes a warm, sweet-smelling fug filled the flat, causing me to leap up and check every 5 minutes until it was done. I managed to restrain myself for about 20 minutes before cutting a slice, and it was every bit as light as I could have hoped, with, to me, the perfect level of banana flavour, almost caramelly.

You could play with this quite a lot – I imagine many people would like icing, for a start, but I wanted to keep to the recipe first time. The notes state that you can also chargrill and serve it warm again the next day.

Banana bread with macadamia nuts  Serves 8+

2 very ripe bananas
100g butter, melted
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180c and grease and line the bottom of a 500g loaf tin.

Throw the peeled bananas, butter, egg and milk into a blender and blend for a minute or two until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and nuts. Pour in the banana mixture and mix until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and roughly level. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until risen and browned – if it seems to be browning too much before it’s done, you can cover it loosely with silver foil. When ready, a skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Nice warm.

From Sophie Michell’s ‘Fabulous Food: Sexy Recipes for Healthy Living’.

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