Banana and Walnut Bread

Banana Bread2

I feel like banana bread is half the reasons bananas exist. It makes you feel like it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast because of all that fruit, when we all know deep down it’s more of a dessert but hey, points for trying right? It gives you the perfect reason to use those sad, possibly overripe bananas and turn them into a moist, delicious loaf (made even more delicious when slathered with lashings of butter). Plus, it’s so easy to make that you can get it all together and in the oven within 15 minutes and just sit back and relax while the beautiful banana aromas waft through the house.

This recipe isn’t overly sweet – so if you want to add another ½ cup of sugar be my guest. Also, the addition of walnuts isn’t obligatory, I just added them because I like the texture and crunch it gives the bread but you can replace them with chocolate chips or just omit them entirely. Enjoy 🙂

Banana Bread3

Banana Bread

Makes 8 to 10 slices

Ingredients:

  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, banana, spices and vanilla.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture along with walnuts, being careful not to over mix (over mixing results in a tough cake).
  4. Pour the batter into a non-stick, or lightly greased and floured, 19 x 11cm loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve in thick slices with butter.

Banoffee Cupcakes

IMG_1183IMG_1199IMG_1244IMG_1233

Is there anything better than gooey thick caramel sandwiched together with banana and cream. If there is, it would have to be rather amazing. Banoffee pie is one of my absolute favourite desserts, so I thought why not try and make it in cupcake form, because really, can anything in cupcake form be bad?

To achieve this I used mashed banana in the cupcake batter and filled the middle of the cupcake with thick caramel. For the icing I decided to go with a white chocolate butter cream, just because I love butter cream on cupcakes but you could easily substitute this for  vanilla cream frosting using thickened cream and vanilla extract if you wanted to go down the more traditional banoffee pie route. As you can tell, I’m not always a stickler for tradition. Either way these cupcakes are light and delicious and are a great twist on the traditional English pie.

Banoffee Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 185g butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1 mashed banana  + half a banana, sliced (for decoration)
  • ½ can caramel top ‘n’ fill

Icing

  • 250g butter, softened and diced
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g white chocolate melts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs separately, and beat well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana until incorporated into the batter.
  3. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold to combine. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tins for 4 minutes and then transfer to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Once cool, slice each cupcake in half and place a teaspoon of the caramel top ‘n’ fill in the centre of each of the cupcake bottoms. Top with the other half of cupcake.
  6. To make the icing melt the chocolate by filling a dish with boiling water and place a metal bowl on top. Put the chocolate in the bowl and stir until melted. Cream the butter using electric beaters and then gradually add in the icing sugar. The slowly pour in the white chocolate and beat until incorporated. Ice the cupcakes and top each with a slice of banana.