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. In fact, perhaps one could go so far as to say that bananas rather improve the texture of cake, making it more dense and moist, thus avoiding in every way the process of drying-out.
The recipe for this bread can be found here. It is an adapted version of my earlier and extremely successful chocolate and banana loaf cake. In order to make the current version of banana bread one simply has to substitute the dark chocolate for 150g of chopped dates. However, for ease of appreciation the recipe shall be provided below.
The responsibility for the inclusion of dates in this recipe partly lies with Katherine; it was only after she had made this bread following another recipe that I attempted the same. Indeed, before making this cake I had never tried a date, so it was with some trepidation that the necessary act of sampling one was performed. As it turns out all fears were misplaced, dates are rather delicious and sweet, in a rather dark way. In fact, the darkness of the dates worked very well with the banana, in much the same way as the chocolate had. Not only that, but once cooked the dates become incredibly sticky and moist, combining with the banana to make, what I think is, a rather unbeatable banana bread.
Banana and Date Bread
Makes 1 2lb loaf tin cake
• 230g/8oz self-raising flour
• 115g/4oz butter or stork
• 170g/6oz caster sugar, granulated will do
• 2 eggs
• 3 ripe bananas
• 150g dates, roughly chopped
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a standard size 2lb loaf tin. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Separately, cream together the sugar and the butter, then mix in the eggs one by one. Fold the flour and dates into the sugar and butter, before combining with the bananas.
2. Spoon this into the loaf tin and cook for 40 minutes, before turning the over down to 150C and cooking for a further 30 minutes. Turn out and leave to cool before eating.
Cost: The cake should set one back around £2, but its real value is in preventing the waste of bananas. The word preventing always gives a sentence a charitable quality, don’t you think?