Banana Bread

With all the cold weather over the past week I have been making a lot of hearty, warm and filling foods. Its also got me back into baking for the first time since before Christmas. I had to check back through my posts because I couldn’t believe it has been that long since I have baked anything myself, but it was! So with that in mind I started looking through the cook books to find something I hadn’t made before (or something I hadn’t baked for a long time). After a lot of careful consideration of many, many different baking recipes I decided on Banana Bread.

I love having a big slice of Banana Bread (probably with a bit of butter on it too) with a big mug of coffee. But its been so long since I have baked it I can’t even remember when I last made it and I couldn’t even remember the recipe for it! I looked all through our recipe books to find one, and trawled through some recipe websites. Eventually I put together my own little recipe with tips from a few different places. Like adding chopped Walnuts and grated Orange zest.

Feeling a bit adventurous I borrowed a tip from a bbcgoodfood recipe and added candied Orange. I haven’t candied anything before but the recipe looked quite simple so gave it a shot. I did over cook them a little so they were quite brown, but the taste and crispness was bang on. I didn’t have an actual loaf tin so baked it in a regular baking tray, we couldn’t slice it like bread but that just means you have a big huge chunk instead!

So here is an afternoon tea classic with a bit of a twist.

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Candied Orange Slices

1 Orange Finely sliced
100ml Water
100g Caster Sugar

Banana Bread

1 Orange finely zested
120g Butter
200g Muscovado
2 Eggs
6 Cardamom Pods, seeds crushed
260g Plain Flour
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
120ml Soya Milk
3 Bananas, mashed
2tsp Vanilla Extract
60g Walnuts Chopped


For the Candied Orange slices.

Put 100ml water in a wide bottomed saucepan with the Caster Sugar, bring to the boil to dissolve the Sugar. Add the Orange slices making sure they are covered by the liquid. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the rind in cooked. The liquid will turn to a thick Syrup. Leave to cool, thicken and harden a bit, then drain.

For the Banana Bread.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. I used a silicone tin but if you not make sure you line your tin with some grease proof paper. Cream the Butter and Sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in the finely grated Orange Zest and the Crushed Cardamom seeds. Next beat in the Eggs one at a time then sift the Flour and the tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda. Beat it well together. Stir in the Milk, Mashed Banana, Walnuts and Vanilla Essence. Beat well till you have a smooth mixture (excluding the Walnuts).

Tip into a Loaf tin (or any other baking tin you have). Sit the Candied Orange slices slightly overlapping down the centre of the cake-mix. Bake for 1hr, to check its cooked through put a skewer or knife in the middle and check it comes out clean. Cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack.

Serve with a mug of Coffee or a cup of Tea.

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