It's become the ultimate coronavirus comfort food, here our top food writers give their ultimate banana bread recipes...
Stress-baking is helping people deal with their lockdown induced anxiety, and banana bread has become the ultimate coronavirus comfort food.
Mainly because it's inexpensive to make, completely delicious and allows us to eat cake while pretending it's bread. Here our top food writers share their ultimate banana bread recipes.
This recipe comes from my auntie Ann who spent a lot of time in America over the years and has picked up some really great US-inspired recipes. This banana bread is deliciously moist and is extremely easy to throw together. You can also add some chocolate chips or toasted chopped nuts for an extra flavour layer.
Makes 1 x 900ml loaf tin
You will need
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with a hand-held mixer until light and pale. Add in one egg and a little flour and mix through. Repeat with the other egg and the rest of flour and baking soda, until everything is mixed through and smooth.
Peel the bananas and mash them with the back of a fork. Add them to the bowl with the vanilla extract and mix through. Pour the mix into a 900ml well-greased loaf tin and place it in the oven for about 50 minutes.
Insert a metal skewer into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out clean, the banana bread is ready. You can cover it with tinfoil after 25 minutes to stop it browning too much on top if you need to.
Remove the banana bread from the loaf tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices to serve.
This warm buttery cake is gently comforting, and I love to have a slice with a cup of something hot. The ground ginger brings a welcome warm hit to the banana and sweet golden syrup, giving you a really satisfying sweet treat.
You will need:
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a loaf tin with parchment paper.
2 In a bowl, cream the butter until it is soft, then beat in the brown sugar and the golden syrup, continuing to beat until the mixture is lovely and light.
3 Now, one at a time, beat in the eggs. The mixture will look sloppy, but don't worry.
4 In a separate bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the ground ginger, and sift it into the butter, sugar, golden syrup and egg mixture. Lightly but thoroughly fold the mixtures together.
5 Next, mix in the mashed bananas, to form a soft, wet dough. Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin, and place it in the preheated oven to bake for about 45 minutes until the loaf is risen, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Vegan banana bread, my friends. Nailed. Go forth and flirt - this recipe is plant-powered and crazy delicious.
The trick to baking without eggs lies with psyllium husks. Behold the snazzlejazzle of 2020. Your pharmacist probably sells psyllium in capsule form to sweet-talk your pipes into exercising more. Containing 70pc soluble fibre, psyllium is quite the traffic warden in the bowel department. You might like to ask your pharmacist to stock the raw product instead, and use it in this recipe. Bags of psyllium husks are already available in the more savvy pharmacies and in health-food stores around the country.
In the absence of egg, psyllium binds the loaf together and delivers a beautiful soft crumb with no sogginess or doorstopper density (even when using gluten-free flour). This chocolate and cardamom banana bread is definitely a New Year's resolution we can get behind!
Dark Chocolate & Cardamon Banana Bread
Makes 1 regular loaf
You will need:
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Line a regular loaf tin with some non-stick baking paper.
2 Make your plant 'egg' by mixing the psyllium husks in a cup with 4 tablespoons of tap water. Leave to stand and bloom for 3 minutes.
3 In a separate bowl, cream the golden caster sugar sugar and the extra-virgin coconut oil together by hand using a wooden spoon. I find it best to avoid doing this with a machine.
4 Mash most of the bananas, keeping a few slices to decorate the top. Stir the mashed banana into your plant 'egg', then mix into the sugar and coconut oil mixture. Gently bash the cardamom pods open, and coax out the seeds. Add the seeds to your batter, discarding the fibrous shell.
5 Finally, mix through the brown rice flour or the white rice flour, whichever you're using, the baking powder and the dark chocolate chunks. Scrape the cake mix into your lined loaf tin, decorate with the leftover slices of banana, and cook in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6 Remove the banana bread from the oven and let it settle for 10 minutes before ejecting it from the tin to let the loaf breathe on a wire rack. Allow it to cool for 1 hour, giving time for the chocolate and crumb to settle. A slice with a scrape of butter is cosmic (unless you're vegan, in which case ignore my ramblings and demolish as is!)
Makes one loaf.
You will need:
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 355°F, Gas 4. Place the ripe bananas, the melted butter, the egg, the vanilla extract and the caster sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth to combine. Sprinkle the baking soda and the pinch of salt over the mixture, then transfer it into a mixing bowl and sift in the flour.
Gently fold in the sifted flour until there are no pockets of flour remaining in the cake mixture. Stir in the chopped pecan nuts. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour in the banana bread mixture. Bake the banana bread in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until it is firm and an inserted knife comes out clean. Allow the banana bread to cool fully before slicing.
To serve, spread the sides of each slice with softened butter and place them in a non-stick pan. Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Drizzle each slice with about a teaspoon of tahini, and top with a teaspoon of marmalade.
Food & Drink
I've been thinking of how, in recent times, my sense of contentment has been largely based on something that the psychologist Maslow could never have predicted when he was setting out his principles for the hierarchy of needs.