Mornings are distinctly autumnal now, cold and crisp, with a haze of mist hovering over the seafront. I’m excited about blackberry picking, windfall apples, and cosy nights in.
I spent the weekend luxuriating in precious free time, and baked banana bread.
I’ve noticed my focus in baking has really shifted this year, and I haven’t had much time for complex French patisserie-style recipes, focusing instead on quicker, more familiar cakes and treats. I suppose I’m starting to think that those recipes aren’t worth all the effort and faff. The reward at the end is not necessarily equal to the work. Let’s face it, there are so many stunning patisseries out there, perhaps it’s time to let others do the hard work!
That’s not to say I won’t always have room for a home-baked cake, it’s just more likely to come as two layers rather than six, and one cream filling rather than three!
Anyways, this banana bread has already been baked in several incarnations. I baked one last weekend which was so popular at work I spend all week willing my bananas to ripen more quickly so I could bake another one. My first run was with all dark brown sugar which turned out quite treacly, almost like gingerbread. The second time I changed it to light brown sugar – both are really tasty.
This version is mostly based on Mary Berry’s banana bread recipe, but I had some leftover caramel buttercream in the freezer so threw that in too, which added a whole extra level of caramel flavour and was scrumptious. Granted, not everybody has a handy spoonful of caramel buttercream lying about so you could probably substitute a spoonful of ordinary caramel without any problems.
Caramel Banana Cake
- 100g butter/margarine
- 175g dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp salted caramel buttercream
- 2 eggs
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a loaf tin. Beat the butter, sugar, and salted caramel buttercream together until soft and fluffy, then whisk in the eggs followed by the mashed bananas. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, fold into the batter, then fold in the milk. Bake for around 45 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool, and wrap up overnight. Tastes best the next day (if you can wait that long!).