Sunday, 22 September 2013

Going bananas


During my university days at Sussex, there were two things I ate every day, well almost every day. One, was a chicken curry puff at the Bramber House store, piping hot and crisp, off the racks; and two, a slice of Banana bread – soft and moist – that came wrapped in a thin film at the café cum sandwich shop at the EDB building, where I went to attend my morning lectures, twice a week. And just to grab a slice of the banana bread, I went there every day. I sat on the single bench that stood outside and savoured my slice of banana bread (often followed by a slice of gooey chocolate cake).  That was almost 4 years ago and I still crave for my chicken curry puff and my slice of Banana bread….but alas. 

Ever since my oven arrived, a week ago that is, I have been toying with the idea of trying to make banana bread. I have never cooked with bananas though. Except once, when I was 11 and was visiting cousins in Delhi. One afternoon the three of us planned to take the kitchen over, my aunt, their mother had taken my mom out to Karolbag to shop. We had made something with bananas and honey and lemon juice, the recipe for which  the eldest among us, let’s call her M (she was14), had found in an old, tattered issue of the Women’s Era magazine. I was in awe of M, pulling out a Women’s Era – for me it was prohibited stuff back then. Anyway, the only person willing to taste what we had made was my uncle, their father, a good man he is and he said it was heavenly. I wouldn’t know. I hadn’t had the courage to taste it. 

Anyway coming back to banana bread….so I was thinking of giving it a try. In the meantime, I had planned something for the blog. MasterChef Australia is on television (oooooooooooo) and I was thinking why not try one recipe by each of the judges (Gary is my favourite by the way) as a tribute to the awesomeness called MasterChef. 

I brought the two ideas together and tossed up for you and me Matt Preston’s Rockstar Banana Bread with Maple icing. It’s a simple recipe and the consequence was delicious. Except, my arms are still hurting cause I do not have a hand beater at home (yet) and, yes I had a bit of a hard time getting the cake to leave the tin. Remember, this one's a little stickier than regular cakes and you need to grease your tin very,  very well. Otherwise it was delicious, soft and moist. 

And yes I didn't have a loaf pan, so mine looked like a cake, but the taste....well try it and see for yourself 


Banana bread
  • Spray oil, to grease
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 over-ripe bananas
  • 1¾ cups (260g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt  
Maple butter icing
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • Toasted pecans, to garnish (optional)        

  • Method

    Banana bread
    1.      For the banana bread, preheat oven to 180°C and grease loaf pan with oil.
    2.      Using hand beaters, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Add eggs and bananas and mix until combined, then add flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix until just combined.
    3.      Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    4.      Set banana bread aside in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Alternatively, when slightly warm, cover in plastic wrap for a better result the following day, and a slightly sticky surface. 

    *You will need a 1L loaf pan for this recipe
    *You can freeze your banana bread, wrapped well in plastic wrap for up to 2 months. It also toasts well.

    *You can pimp your banana bread by adding spices, such as such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice or vanilla. You can also add nuts, ground or in pieces, such as walnuts, pecans or dried fruit.
    Maple butter icing
    1.      Using hand beaters, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, and the sugar has dissolved.
    2.      With the beaters on slow speed, add vanilla extract, then 1 tablespoon of maple syrup at a time, allowing syrup to incorporate before adding another tablespoon.
    3.      Ice banana bread and garnish with toasted pecans if desired. 

    Now I so loved the icing, I had it all over :P 

    Recipe courtesy: 

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