No Simpkins, it’s not any southern African government. Take a hundred lines, “I must not see political allegories in recipe posts.” Don’t argue Simpkins, I don’t care what you heard about banana republics on the news; this is cookery class. And today we’re going to make a brilliant tea time treat called Al’s Banana and Poppy Seed Loaf.
It may be that you, like me, have discovered a few forgotten bananas in the fruit bowl; these might now have large unappetising black spots all over them, precipitating the instinctive reaction to dispose of them before any visitors arrive. Not so fast Dear Reader. Provided they are not festering, amorphous lumps of decomposition (feeling ravenous now, are we?), these bananas will be the ideal ingredient for the aforementioned Loaf. I’ve even put the recipe down for you. I’m quite thoughtful like that.
- 235g Sugar – I’ve use unrefined brown sugar for a better flavour
- 115g Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
- 2 Extra Large Eggs – at room temperature.
- 290g Cake Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 30g Poppy Seeds (optional – but they add a pleasing level of flavour)
- 4 ripe or slightly overripe bananas
- Preheat your oven to 180C
- Grease a loaf tin (I use a loaf tin about 25cm x 6cm and about 8cm deep) with butter then dust with a thin layer of flour. You can use a non-stick spray but the one I bought in New Zealand hasn’t worked that well.
- Mash the bananas into a pulp with a fork.
- With your mixer on high, cream the butter and sugar together .
- While creaming, add the Vanilla essence.
- Add first egg and beat the mixture for about 30 seconds.
- Add second egg and continue beating for about 1 minute.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together before adding to the egg/butter mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg/butter mixture through a sieve (this aerates the flour and helps to give the sponge a lightness).
- Mix this lot together using a wooden spoon (okay, it doesn’t HAVE to be a WOODEN spoon – Any large spoon or spatula should do).
- Add the Poppy Seeds.
- Give the mashed bananas a buzz with the mixer – low speed – for about 30 seconds to break up the larger lumps of banana.
- Add the banana to the sponge mixture and fold in thoroughly.
- Pour out the mixture into your greased loaf tin, bung it in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
With a pot of Earl Grey or a decent coffee, your banana loaf is delicious served warm with melting butter – but it is even more tasty on the second or third day. Store in an airtight container. Keep away from children and peckish family members.