20th April 2012
Having made the Banana Loaf numerous times for my son and the fact he had requested it again, I knew there was another banana loaf recipe in The Bible and thought it would be one more ticked off if I baked it rather than my son’s favourite – but would he like it??!
The washing/cleaning had all been done and the dog had been walked and had decided to take himself off to bed, so I thought a spot of baking was in order.
A quick check to make sure I had some honey and then it was on with the oven and out with the mixing bowl and scales. First thing was to lightly grease and line the bottom of a 2lb loaf tin. You may remember from previous recipes that the loaf tin I had been using was huge and probably a 3lb loaf tin, so I had recently purchased a 2lb loaf tin and I think this was the second outing for it!
Into the bowl I measured the flour and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Mary does say in her recipe to use freshly grated nutmeg, but I only had ground nutmeg in the cupboard so hoped this would be OK the same quantity required! The butter was then rubbed in to the flour until it resembled breadcrumbs. This seemed to take an age as the butter was rock solid. My wrists were beginning to ache after this – I think it’s the reaching over the bowl at a funny angle – I’m only short (or so the children keep telling me) and I think I need my worktop heights need reducing!!!
Next it was onto the bananas. In the recipe Mary states 225g of bananas. Now this was confusing – is this the weight of the bananas in their skins or the weight of them ‘naked’? I went for the ‘naked’ option and ended up eating half a banana! The bananas were mashed, which always reminds me of my children when they were babies, I think it was one of their favourites and something which my daughter still does if she ever eats a banana! This was stirred into the flour mixture together with some caster sugar, lemon rind, 2 eggs and 6tbsp of honey. Well I think I put six in. Somehow I managed to get distracted whilst putting the honey in, so either 6 or 7tbsp went into the mixture. I started beating this by hand, but it was far too difficult so out came the hand whisk and the mixture was quickly beaten until evenly mixed. I was concerned at one point as the mixture seemed to be a bit lumpy, but on checking I realised this was the ‘mashed banana’.
The mixture was turned into the oven and baked for 1 1/4 hours. The house smelt divine, it must have been the nutmeg. After 1 1/4 hours a skewer was put into the centre of the cake to see if it was baked. It was, so out it came and after leaving it in the tin for a few minutes it was turned out onto a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled it was time for the topping. 2tbsp of honey were warmed (not in a pan as Mary says, but in the microwave). This was brushed over the cake (or teabread) and then sprinkled on top was some nibbed sugar. Nibbed sugar I hear you say – in other words broken sugar lumps. I knew we had some in the cupboard somewhere, but gosh I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to crush them. They either split into huge lumps which when you tried to crush them again they just crumbled or they just crumbled outright. Eventually I managed to sprinkle the top with the sugar, although it didn’t seem to stick very well as I think the honey had gone cold by then!
Onto taste – after a quick photograph it was onto a plate and handed to my son for his approval. A child of few words (now but not when he was younger, you couldn’t get him to be quiet!) – “very nice but I prefer the other one better, when are you going to bake one?!” It was a very moist cake, obviously due to the bananas, but it went down well.