I love bananas – so long as they are just ripe, perfectly yellow skin with no black spots and still firm to the bite. Once they get a bit spotty, soft and ‘furry’, they are nothing like as appealing. In these austere times, it seems very wrong to let them go to waste, so this week I decided to see what I could do with them, other than throw them away.
I remembered a banana and sultana loaf recipe that I last made several years ago, so decided to see if it could be successfully made using gluten and dairy free ingredients. I found the recipe in The River Cottage Family Cookbook and it is quite simple – even for me.
To make 1 loaf:
75g dried apricots
100g unsalted butter (soft not melted) – so I used Pure dairy free sunflower spread, which is soft even straight from the fridge
125g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs (we are lucky that Zac is ok with eggs, but I am sure this would work with ‘egg replacer for anyone who needs it)
3 large, very ripe bananas
200g self raising flour – I used the Doves Farm gluten free self raising flour
Preheat oven to 160c or gas mark 3. Line a loaf tin (approx. 13x23x7cm) with baking parchment – that is what the recipe says. I had a glass pyrex loaf dish and just greased it with some Pure spread, and it slid out beautifully at the end.
Chop up the apricots to small pieces and grate the zest of a lemon.
Cream the ‘butter’ and sugar in a mixing bowl. Break in an egg and beat into the mixture. Once it is completed blended in, beat in the other egg. Next add the dried fruit and zest.
Mash the bananas with a fork and then add them to the mixture in the bowl.
Sift in the flour and carefully fold it in to the mixture with a large metal spoon. I didn’t have one and just used a bit plastic one. Worked fine. Ensure there are no pockets of flour within the mix.
Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin or dish, smooth off the top and cook it in the oven for about 50 mins to an hour. Probably a good idea to check after 40 mins. My oven is super fast, so I always cut the cooking time a bit. It is ready when you can insert a knife in the middle and it comes out clean – I used a spare chopstick, as I wanted it to look pretty for the photo!
Leave the cake to cool, in the tin for about fifteen minutes. Then turn it out and dive in. It is really nice when it is still a bit warm and moist. The children liked it. My Mum and sister had some with a cup of coffee and both said you would never know it was made with GF/DF ingredients. So I would rate that one as a success. Here are some pictures – just to prove it.