There are a couple of recipes that always take me back to my childhood. Both of these recipes came from a shabby old 1970’s publication of the Be-Ro baking book. My Mum and Gran both used this book to make all kinds of traditional, simple biscuits and cakes but the two made most often in our household were the Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Banana Loaf. Whenever I have leftover bananas that have turned a bit brown, my first instinct is always to bake this loaf. For the last couple of years, I’ve been adding chocolate chips as well (ah, the one pleasure of being an adult that really doesn’t disappoint – chocolate whenever you feel like it!). It is also really good with white chocolate or butterscotch chips and any kind of nut, especially walnuts or pecans. And it is also absolutely fine without any additions, just the taste of banana. Best eaten warm, especially topped with butter or honey. This loaf also freezes well (and in fact seems to get moister and more flavourful if frozen and then defrosted again).
225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
75 g (3 oz) softened butter
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
450 g (1 lb) bananas (around 4 or 5 large bananas), peeled & mashed
2 bags milk chocolate chips (optional)
Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 1 kg (2 lb) loaf tin.
Mix together flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add the eggs a little at a time alternately with the flour.
Stir in the remaining flour, bananas and choc chips and place in prepared tin. Bake for about 1¼ hours.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing and eating. Or cool completely, wrap tightly and freeze.