Well it has been another busy week, two early shifts and two late’s but today is my day off and I am taking my very special friend Fiona out for lunch and I can not wait, but first things first, I want to tell you all about my recent discovery, Banana Bread! Now I know it has been around for donkey’s years and I know that you have probably all tried it or baked it, but I really thought that I didn’t like it, that was until I tried some at work a couple of weeks ago.

Now I avoid the middle office as much as I can, there is always temptation in there, cakes, biscuits, chocolates!!! Its a nightmare and I know if I start I won’t stop, but on this occasion a rather yummy looking loaf cake caught my attention. Our lovely cleaning lady said that one of our Doctors had made it and that it was delicious, she swiftly cut me a slice and the rest is history, I was hooked, and yes of course I went back for a second slice.

So I just had to have the recipe and it turns out that it is from a cookery book that I have owned for years, (and I do truly mean years, there is a lovely inscription in the front of the book from my very dear friend Valerie dated Christmas 2004), Nigella Lawson’s ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’, I had just overlooked it. I baked it yesterday and it is so simple to make, you have a delicious moist cake that is full of flavour, you get a lovely crunch from the walnuts and it will keep for days. I did type ‘last’ instead of ‘keep’, but then realised that it may keep but the way Luca and I have been eating it, last is not the correct word at all.

I don’t think mine was as nice as the one at work, it maybe because I left the booze out or it maybe just that it is always nicer if someone else has made it for you, but it is still delicious and is perfect with my espresso at breakfast, a slice with a cup of tea to help with that afternoon slump or great to take to work to see me through when working the late, as long as I remember to take some for the cleaning ladies, or else I will be in trouble !

So there you have it, Banana Bread ! Maybe I should have a quick slice with a coffee before I go out 😉

Buon appetito

banana bread

100 grams sultanas
75 ml dark rum (or bourbon)I used Pineapple Juice to make it more child friendly
175 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
125 grams unsalted butter (melted)
150 grams caster sugar (I used golden as its gives a nicer flavour)
2 large eggs
4 small very ripe bananas (mashed)
60 grams chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil. (I didn’t do this, I left mine over night soaking in the pineapple juice and it worked just fine, but please do which ever method you desire)

Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 170ÂşC/gas mark 3/325ÂşF

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.

Scrape into a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1Âź hours. When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish.

Leave in the tin on a rack to cool.

banana bread