After 3 years of trying to perfect my baking skills (and being shamed by my niece after she famously rejected one of my baked ‘delights’), I have managed to throw down the best banana loaf to date!!! Yaayyyyy! As usual, I buy a bunch of bananas, eat a few and then they become overripe. I really dislike wasting any food and so every 3 months or so my family receive a new and improved banana loaf from me.
My work colleagues reaped the benefits on this occasion as I took it to the next level. Getting overexcited by my accomplishment of finally perfecting my recipe and baking an edible loaf, I added raw cashews to the mixture and topped it with butter icing AND caramelised cashews. SUGAR HIGH! But it was Friday and there really is no better way to start the weekend! Here is my recipe:
(Sorry, no prep. pictures on this occasion. I was too busy concentrating on my masterpiece!)
The prep. part:
Banana loaf, serves 20 depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have and how greedy you are!
- 1 ½ teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- 3 medium sized eggs
- 3 overripe bananas, mashed
- Handful of raw cashews, roughly crushed
- 275g sifted plain flour
- 120g unsalted butter, left out to soften and cut into cubes for ease to mix
- 140g fruit sugar
- 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 120ml of milk
- 50g icing sugar, sieved
- 75g unsalted butter, leave out 15 minutes before you are ready to make the icing
- ½ a handful of raw cashews
- 75ml of water
- 30g fruit sugar
The cooking/assembling part:
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC, grease a loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- Throw bananas and butter into bowl to break them up a little more.
- Throw all remaining ingredients into the bowl and work those biceps if you haven’t got a mixer to do all the hard work. Remember the mixture will not be smooth because of the cashews. Don’t mistake them for clumps of butter!
- You may need to add a little more milk if the mixture is too stiff.
- Once mixed place in the oven for an hour.
- Meanwhile, put a small pan onto a low heat with the sugar and water. Lay out a small piece of greaseproof paper onto the counter and put the raw cashews into a teacup.
- Leave the water and sugar to heat and caramelise. Be patient and don’t stir it. If you want to mix the water and sugar together gently swirl the pan but be careful not to burn yourself.
- Once the caramel starts to turn a dark golden brown remove from the heat.
- You have to act fast here as the caramel will begin to set once removed from the heat. Pour the caramel over the cashews in the teacup and stir in to ensure all the cashews are covered. Then turn the caramelised cashews onto greaseproof paper, seal and put them in the fridge to set.
- Once the loaf is cooked (check using a skewer to see that the loaf is cooked through. If cooked, the skewer should come out clean) remove from the tin, keeping the greaseproof paper on it, and leave on a rack to cool.
- Once the loaf is completely cool, mix up the icing sugar and butter to form the butter icing, place the loaf back in the tin with the greaseproof paper and spread on the butter icing. Put into the fridge to allow the butter icing to set.
- Remove caramelised cashews from the fridge and bash them in the greaseproof paper to break it up.
- Once the icing is set remove it from the tin and greaseproof paper, place on a serving dish and sprinkle on the caramelised cashews.
Hope your baking skills far exceed mine because 3 years was a long time to wait for this baby!