On the first Monday of the second “lockdown” (don’t even get me started on that term!) I had a day at home. I wasn’t even sure what was going to happen for some of that week. Some of my work involves working in a day nursery on a regular basis and the other time I am teaching on supply in various primary schools in my area. I knew I already had Friday booked but nothing for the three remaining days of the week. Although I love teaching, I am really anxious at the moment with the Covid situation. I am really careful with keeping safe but I have to do my job.
To me, baking is a massive help and distraction from the crazy world we live in. Even before the pandemic came I found baking on my days off extremely calm and therapeutic. I’d put on some of my favourite music in the kitchen and get lost in my own little baking world. I think back to why I started baking in the first place and that was over 20 years ago as a new mum. Obviously baking was the last thing on my mind when I had a newborn but I bought a couple of Annabel Karmel’s recipe books to help give me ideas for family meals.
In Annabel’s book The Family Meal Planner, she had a recipe for banana bread. I used to make this so often as my kids loved it and so did Mr S. I still make this recipe to this day! Funny how my kids (especially my son) wouldn’t eat many of her baby purees at the time but they loved all the cake recipes!
On this Monday morning I had some bananas to use up and thought about baking some banana loaf. Annabel’s recipe includes optional nuts like walnuts or pecans but I sometimes substitute in dark chocolate chips or raisins. It’s also a great way of using up stuff you have at home. I also decided to try a slightly different Banana Loaf recipe and went for the one in my Great British Bake Off Amazing Cakes book. It is similar in quantities but it is a plain banana loaf with no chocolate or nuts in.
As per usual, the butter and sugar was mixed together first using the creaming method. Then beaten eggs were added in carefully, followed by some vanilla extract.
In another bowl I weighed out the dry ingredients: plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and my own addition: a teaspoonful of cinnamon. After the dry ingredients were folded in, I added in three ripe mashed bananas and some sour cream. The Annabel Karmel recipe uses natural yoghurt here but I had sour cream left over from making fajitas a couple of days before. I also added in 75g of dark chocolate chips to my mixture.
The loaf was baked in a 900g or 2lb loaf tin and I used one of my pre made loaf tin liners which I think came from Lakeland originally.
I followed the baking time carefully (one hour) and had the oven temperature on at 160o fan as stated but I felt as if the top of the cake looked burnt and unappealing. It definitely wasn’t burnt inside and it tasted fine when I had a piece with a cup of tea later on.
Sliced up into pieces, we ate the banana bread over the next week. It keeps well for a couple of days in the tin but I always freeze it and get out exactly what we need for the day.
Love Sam xx