To Illustrate: to clarify, explain or describe, through the use of pictures, diagrams or words, a concept or problem.

The concept is food: an amateur's illustration.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Lets go Bananas for Black Banana Bread

I always find myself saying, when I look down at a pair of brown, extremely ripe and squidgey bananas, 'I really should turn you into banana bread', then after contemplating for a couple of seconds I usually sigh and move on. Then a couple of hours later end up throwing the bananas out. However this time, when I heard myself reciting the same old familiar thought whilst staring at a pair I thought 'No, actually today I am going to do it'. And I have, and the bread is delicious, chocolatey and oh so nutty and well worth doing on a Saturday afternoon. Using a recipe taken from my favourite Nigel Slater, I have transformed these banana's into a glorious loaf.

  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter softened
  • 175g/6oz sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
  • 75g/2½oz hazelnuts/walnuts
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 175g/6oz self raising-flour
  • 2 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
  • drop vanilla extract
  • 175g/6oz good-quality dark (cut into small chucks)


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 12cm/8in x 5in loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. 2. Beat the butter and sugars in a bowl until the mixture is light and coffee-coloured (make sure the butter is a room temperature then this stage will be much easier - especially if you don't have a mixer!)
  3. 3. Toast the nuts (Which ever you are using) then remove their skins with a tea towel. Then grind.

  4. 4. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
  5. 4. Peel the bananas and chop them the small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract, the chopped bananas and the chocolate chips into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to over mix.
  6. 6. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar or chocolate shavings and bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly

    Serve: Once cooled cut off a big slice and devour with a lovely cup of tea or in the morning at breakfast, or as a lunch time snack. Really just have it and eat it anywhere - you will find it almost impossible to have only the smallest slither.

    Serve: Once cooled, cut off a large slice and devour with a cup of tea. Enjoy it as a mid afternoon snack or in the morning at breakfast, or when you have the midnight munchies, or whenever or wherever you like. I guarantee that you will find it almost impossible to have only a tiny slither of this banana bread. 

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