You guys see that banana bread up there? My flatmates. Ate. ALL OF IT. In one day! I made it late one night when we were all craving something delicious to eat while we watched bad TV together, but sadly by the time I’d scoured the web to find a suitable recipe, found all the ingredient’s from my rabbit warren of a pantry (I swear to God, the cans of crushed tomatoes are multiplying. Every time I go in there, more have magically appeared) and cooked the thing, most of them had disappeared into their rooms.
So, being the lovely girl that I am, I dutifully cut a few slices to photograph, and scurried away to my room to nom them all up. And it’s lucky I did, because by the time I got downstairs for breakfast, half of the loaf was gone. And by that evening, it was all gone. For the record, I can totally understand why it disappeared so fast because it was delicious.
It’s probably news to no-one that Smitten Kitchen pumps out some amazing recipes, and so when I was looking for an excuse to eat cake and pretend it wasn’t cake (come on.. lets be honest. That’s why we all love banana bread.Because it means we get to eat cake for breakfast), I went to her. I adapted the recipe slightly to fit my own specifications, taking out the bourbon, mostly because I didn’t have any on hand, and adding some chopped pecans on top. I had some pecans leftover from my latest batch of home made granola (recipe here) so it was mostly a ‘Oh Jesus I have to get rid of these pecans what can I put them on?’ addition, but actually it really worked. I know, I know, it’s not exactly a startling revelation that nuts + bananas = yum, but hey! No judgement. Regular readers are probably well aware of my affinity for nuts, but I really do think that they add another dimension to just about anything you put them in.
The resulting banana bread was beautiful, rich from the spices but light and crumbly enough that if you sneakily find yourself eating half the loaf before you get caught by your family face down in the loaf tin, well there’s no need to hate yourself. Not that Gin and Juniper would ever support hating yourself because of something you’ve eaten. Food is delicious, if it makes you feel happy, eat the food. Just eat it! There’s no shame. And if anything is going to make you not hate yourself, well its a big slice of banana bread.
Click through for recipe
Banana and Pecan Bread
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 to 1 cup caster or muscovado sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/4 to 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to fan bake 180°C or 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix the butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt onto the mixture and combine. Finally add the flour, and mix to combine. Unlike muffins, which don’t like to be mixed too much, I find it pretty satisfying to really mix the shit out of cake batters. If you want a more pecan-centric banana bread, now would be the time to mix some extra chopped pecans through the batter. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle over the chopped pecans in an even amount over the top of the batter. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. If the pecans start getting too brown, cover with a piece of baking paper or silver foil. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve… with butter.