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Back-to-School Banana Bread


Make this cake with the lemon cream cheese icing - you won't regret it... But be warned, once you've had it with icing, there is no going back!


I've been on the hunt for a fantastic banana bread recipe for years, and I've tried so many that just end up dense and dry and just so disappointing.


Then a few weeks ago, I had a brilliant idea for this recipe. I tested it, and the result was just beautiful. I made it again, twice more, and the same again. To be on the safe side, I made it again, two more times, just to really put the recipe to the test, and again it came out exactly the way it had the first time, soft, cakey, not too sweet, and definitely not dry!


This loaf is so easy to make; you need a medium bowl, a handheld whisk, and 3 really ripe bananas. Yellow bananas tend to have a floury texture and result in a dry, floury loaf. And it's delicious. Serve it plain if you want to, but the lemon cream cheese icing totally makes it! And in my opinion, it's even better the next day!


I'd love to know if you give this one a try!

Recipe

40 g flavourless oil (I use rice bran) 85 g unsalted butter 30 g golden syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 140 g brown sugar 2 extra large eggs 90 g warm full cream milk 10 g white vinegar 300 g mashed banana (3 small overripe bananas - the spottier the better) 280 g self-raising flour 2 g bi-carb soda

Method Pre-heat oven to 160C. Line a loaf pan on the base only with a strip of baking paper. Mash the bananas. In a medium-sized bowl, measure the oil, butter, and golden syrup. Gently warm this mixture in short bursts in the microwave until the butter is just melted; there can even be a few soft clumps left. Add the brown sugar and vanilla, and using a handheld whisk, beat everything together until it comes together, it may look as though it separates to begin with, keep whisking past this stage until it all comes together and the sugar looks like it has dissolved.

Add the eggs into the sugar and butter mixture one at a time and beat well until combined. Warm the milk gently for 20 - 25 seconds in the microwave and pour this into the egg mixture, whisk together. The mixture will look very thin and soupy, which is absolutely fine. Finally, add the vinegar to the egg mixture and whisk it together. Fold the mashed bananas through the wet mixture before adding the flour and bi-carb soda into the bowl and giving it one final mix. Make sure there are no clumps of flour remaining. Pour the liquid batter into the loaf pan and bake at 160C for 50-55 minutes. The crust may have a crack to one side. The loaf will smell delicious and look golden and puffy. Check the cake for doneness before removing to cool. I leave the loaf to cool in the tin, and if you'd like to soften the crust, cover loosely with a clean tea towel. Leave for 45-50 minutes before gently running a butter knife along the sides of the cake to loosen away from the loaf tin and turn out. The cake will have collapsed a bit once it has cooled, which gives the cake its soft and slightly fudgy texture.

I used the same Cream Cheese Icing recipe from the Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches and iced the cake once it was cooled, but you don't have to. You can slice the cake up as it is and enjoy it just like that with your favourite cup of tea or coffee! Any leftover cake can either be wrapped in cling film or sealed into an airtight container for 2-3 days. If the cake is iced, my preference is keeping it in the fridge, in a sealed container. If un-iced, keep the cake in a cool, dark spot away from direct sunlight. I hope you love this quick and easy recipe just as much as I do! It is perfect for lunch boxes!



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