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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Banana Walnut Bread

Banana bread is so easy to make it's criminal. Which is why I'm always aghast whenever I see banana loaves for sale at exhorbitant prices.

The reason why it's usually pricey is because good banana bread is made with real banana, not flavourings. The spidery flecks guarantee a banana party, but to have your own, all you need is one hand (of bananas - haha).

The best banana bread comes from really over-ripe bananas. The ones that have blackened skins and are soggy and mushy inside. The ones you have to force yourself to eat because that's all that's left in the fruit bowl.

But stop! You can put these banana pensioners to much better use. Use your loaf and get them doing cartwheels in a banana walnut loaf. It's too easy.

I hardly ever measure out my mashed banana, I'm usually extra generous with the walnuts, and my banana bread always so moist you don't even need butter.

The trick (as with all cakes) is not to overbake. Use the skewer test and be sure to turn your oven down a few notches if it's fan-forced. If your banana bread does turn out a little dry, well then that's what a thick slab of butter is for, right?

Banana Walnut Bread
(from The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook)

125g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (I used three large bananas)
3/4 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I think I used about 3/4 cup)

Grease and line two 8cm x 26cm loaf tins (I used non-stick pans and just sprayed canola).

Cream the butter, vanilla essence and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.

Add half the banana with half the sifted dry ingredients and half the walnuts. Mix.

Add the remaining banana, sifted dry ingredients and walnuts and combine well.

Spread mixture into prepared loaf tins and bake at 180C for about 45 minutes (I baked mine at 160C in a fan-forced oven for about 40 minutes).

Insert a skewer into the cake and when it comes out clean, remove the loaf from the oven. Allow to stand for five minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool.

You can serve with butter, but mine was fine to eat on its own.
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 11/13/2005 11:30:00 pm


  • At 11/14/2005 4:05 am, Blogger Cat said…

    the phrase 'thick slab of butter' made me drool a little. oops :) mmm banana bread, one of the greatest things in the world is the smell of that baking. will have to whip some up soon!! enjoy yours ;)

  • At 11/14/2005 6:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i love banana bread, but there is also good banana bread and not so good. usually the not so good is made with that banana flavouring - so yours must be of the good variety. with walnuts, it would be perfection :)

  • At 11/14/2005 7:29 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    a banana bread made of banana flavouring? I have never had the unfortunate experience of tasting this but it just seems so wrong when making them with reall bananas are so dead easy. Yours looks so yum, you've inspired me to make some when I get home tonight!!

  • At 11/14/2005 11:53 am, Blogger Nic said…

    I'm grateful that I've never had the misfortune of encountering a banana flavored bread (like jen commented before).
    That crumb looks absolutely perfect. Brilliant job.

  • At 11/14/2005 1:52 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Yum! Bananas are one fruit that you don't have to feel guilty about forgetting to eat before it gets overripe!

  • At 11/14/2005 2:20 pm, Blogger Joycelyn said…

    hi ag, "pensioners"...that had me cracking up ;) the idea of toasted banana walnut bread with thick slab of melting butter has me very very hungry right now!

  • At 11/14/2005 9:15 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Wouldn't you know that I just made banana bread today too? How interesting. I like to use lots of bananas and walnuts in mine too! I can't wait to have some for breakfast tomorrow.

  • At 11/15/2005 7:25 am, Blogger tara said…

    I usually keep those terrible specimens in the freezer, collecting them until I have enough for a large batch of bread. Though S usually has a fright at my macabre little stable of over-ripe fruit, he does enjoy the rewards. Your recipe looks superb.


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