Banana Bread

This time last year I was in Australia.

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Whether it was the experience of travelling, or the break from daily stresses, I came back feeling refreshed, and enlived with a new zest for living.

Yesterday, sat with fellow disillusioned companions, we discussed the pros and cons of emigrating Down Under in search of a better life. It’s not a straightforward process, and I don’t think I would find the move easy. Yet at times, the idea of escape is unbelieveably tempting.

There are beauties in the UK that I would certainly miss. Spring is a joyful season in England. It’s vivid, and amazingly cathartic. Everywhere, bluebells, clustered thickly under the dappled light-shade of English woodland. Bright green life springing up.

While I’m here, how about an edible reminder of my Australian adventures? I realise Banana Bread is not Australian per say, but they seem to be big fans of loaf cakes Down Under. In cafes everywhere, slabs of thickly iced banana and carrot loaves behind the counter.

So here’s mine.

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I’m generally not a fan of icing, so this cake remains resolutely uniced. Damp and thickly cut, deeply flavoured and wholesomely delicious.

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Banana Bread

Adapted from Sophie Dahl’s recipe 

  • 75g salted butter, softened
  • 160g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 bananas, mashed into a pulp
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 170g wholemeal plain flour

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a loaf tin.

Beat the butter and sugar together til soft, then beat in the egg, vanilla extract, followed by the mashed banana.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together. Add to the rest of the ingredients, and fold in with a spatula. Spoon into the loaf tin, and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden and springy. You might need to cover the top with foil 30 minutes into baking to prevent the top from burning. As with all banana breads, this is either best eaten straight out of the oven, or wrapped up for 1-2 days to let the flavour develop. Yummy 🙂

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