This is my third banana bread recipe and, much like with cheesecake, I have said all that needs to be said on the general subject. However, for the benefit of those of you who are too lazy to check, I shall reiterate the main benefit of banana bread:
“As we all know, banana bread is one of those extremely useful recipes that most of us crack out when we wish to avoid waste. Indeed, for some unknown reason people often seem to be left, by the end of the week, with two or three rather brown and partially inedible bananas. It is as though they’ve read about their health benefits and have promptly forgotten their dislike for the unadulterated fruit. Still, this is a great way to use up those superfluous bananas that, in my opinion, renders the usual texture of the fruit bearable.”
Beyond frugality, there was one other characteristic I was keen to instil in this divine article; the ability to give warmth. As you might have guessed, that’s where the Irish whiskey comes in; it is a drink well known for its capacity to warm one’s cockles. Only use Irish whiskey in this recipe, since it tends to harbour a sweetness that complements desserts. Avoid Scottish whisky, for it has, in my mind, a more complex, smoky flavour and using it in such a way would be an insult both to your palette and to the whisky itself.
There have rarely been cakes that deliver such satisfaction as simply as this one does; it requires only a little precision and can be whipped up in no time at all. As such, there’s very little left to say on the matter. All that is left to do is to focus one’s enjoyment on this rather spectacular cake – I think another slice is in order.
N.B. We’re very much enjoying ourselves in Bristol, though getting all the information together to actually move into our flat is proving a little tricky. I work in a really great area of the city – here are a couple of photos taken around 20-30m from my office.
Double Chocolate & Whisky Banana Bread
Makes two 1 pound loaves
• 150g dark chocolate, 50-70% cocoa
• 150g sugar
• 115g butter, salted
• 1 dessert spoon of cocoa
• 2 eggs
• 3 ripe bananas
• 75ml Irish whiskey
• A handful or raisins or sultanas
• 230g plain flour
• 1 heaped tsp baking powder
1. Soak the raisins in the whiskey for at least an hour before hands. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two 1 pound loaf tins. Mush the bananas into a pulp with a fork.
2. Melt 50g of the chocolate and the butter in a bowl suspended above boiling water. Tip this into a bowl containing the sugar and mix together, whisking in the cocoa. Once the mixture has cooled a little beat in the eggs, bananas as well as the raisins, whiskey and the rest of the chocolate in chunks. Fold in the flour and baking powder and tip into the tins.
3. Bake at for 30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes at 150C. They are ready when they cease to make a sound or a knife comes out clean when inserted. You may serve immediately if desired.
Cost: I’m always in two minds whether to include the cost of bananas in banana bread, because if it wasn’t made then they’d only go to waste. However, in order to be as accurate and impartial as possible I think I must. As such, the cost of these cakes should be no more than £3.60 – a rather delicious price I think you’ll agree.