My banana loaf recipe, posted a while back, seemed to go down very well. Not just with family, but with blog followers, so when faced again with several bananas that were past their best, I decided to have another crack at it.
I used the same basic recipe as last time, borrowed from in The River Cottage Family Cookbook. As I discovered last time, it still works with a straight swap of gluten free flour and dairy free margarine. This time I also added half a teaspoon of xanthan gum, as I have discovered this is an essential ingredient in gluten free baking.
The final magic new addition to the recipe was half a packet of Moo Free chocolate drops. Definitely not an essential and probably not to everyone’s taste, but I had half a pack left over from making the chocolate chip cookies. I could have eaten them, I did think about it, but I was more curious to see if they would work in this recipe so threw them in straight away to remove the temptation. They did work. It was awesome. Added a real yummy warm melted chocolate flavour and aroma to the cake. Everyone who tried it said you could never tell it was gluten free and dairy free – the only person who wouldn’t try it, of course, was Zac, but he did enjoy picking out the sultanas!
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 (or leave them out and add half a packet, or more of Moo Free dairy free chocolate drops).
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 sprinkle half a teaspoon of xanthan gum, 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!