April 8, 2010

Banana and Walnut Loaf

Banana and walnut loaf 1

 

MUNCH RATING: 5/5

 

I’m not a fan of Gregg Wallace, but when I saw his recipe in the May issue of BBC Good Food magazine for Banana and Walnut Loaf I just had to try it as it looked so nice.

 

CHANGES TO THE RECIPE:

I used my silicone loaf tin (as there was no need to grease or line it) instead of a lined greased loaf tin.

 

I used 100g instead of 140g of caster sugar as I wanted to cut some calories and I thought it would be sweet enough with the 4 very ripe bananas.

 

I added some freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon to the recipe as I like those spices in banana cake as I think they compliment the banana flavour. I was quite conservative in my measures and I couldn’t really taste the spices, so I would add maybe 1 tsp instead of ½ tsp of cinnamon, and ½ fresh nutmeg instead of ¼ of a whole seed.

 

Due to a slight ‘error’ in the recipe, I omitted the milk. It was listed in the ingredients, but it wasn’t specifically mentioned in the directions, so I missed adding it to the mixture. However, the cake batter looked perfectly alright when I poured it into the tin, so it was a good consistency without the milk.

 

I also changed the method very slightly so that more ingredients are added together and therefore less mixing is involved, resulting in a better textured cake. I’ve also added my own tips to the method. The original recipe should be posted on the BBC Good Food website next month and I will link to it then.

 

TASTE TEST:

Well I have to say this was the lightest, fluffiest banana cake I’ve ever tasted! I’m not sure how much difference the milk would have made, but I won’t even bother adding it next time because the cake was perfect as it is.

 

Steve and I ate it whilst it was still warm from the oven and it was delicious! Gregg Wallace suggested serving it with vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce, which sounds like a great dessert.

 

  • Makes: 1 loaf that cuts into 8 slices
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C
  • Oven shelf: middle
  • You will need: a 2lb loaf tin, greased and lined with baking paper or a silicone loaf tin

 

Ingredients:

  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 225 plain flour, sieved
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ – ½ of freshly grated nutmeg seed
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g walnuts, chopped (original recipe said 85g)
  • 50ml milk (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the butter, sugar and egg with an electric handheld mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Using a spatula gently fold in the flour and baking powder until they are half mixed in, then add the bananas, walnuts and milk (if using) and carry on gently folding in until all the ingredients are combined – do not overmix or the cake will be tough and heavy.
  4. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and then bang the tin on your counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before removing from the loaf tin.
  7. The loaf can now be wrapped tightly in cling film and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost and warm through before serving.

 

 

Tips For Perfect Cakes

  • Use butter and eggs that are at room temperature to prevent your mixture curdling. If this happens, add a tablespoon of flour with the eggs and then continue.
  • After you’ve added the flour don’t overmix as this will stretch the gluten and result in a tough cake.
  • After you’ve filled your tin with the cake mixture, tap it on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

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