Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet sweet Friday: Banana bread

A couple of months ago, when I was on the world's fastest trip to Sydney, I ended up in an Italian deli talking to a bunch of Australian housewives about how lucky they were to have such great access to wonderful (and inexpensive) Italian foodstuffs. They told me I was lucky because I didn't have to pay through the nose for bananas. Then they launched into a lengthy conversation about where to get the best bananas from, how someone knew someone who'd paid $10 for two, and how the Great Australian Banana Shortage of 2011 had affected their diets. Fairtrade or ethical bananas didn't get a look in.

Ernesto's Banana Bread
Luckily, bananas - even ethical ones - remain in good supply here. The only trouble I have is keeping them from ripening too quickly, especially given that we're moving house next week and I don't need a freezerful to cart across town. This banana bread recipe, which I hunted down for work, is from a local cafe with a fantastic pastry chef who also makes beautiful chocolates. I've added more bananas (well, you can never have too many) and nuts. It makes a huge loaf and keeps really well.

4 bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut halves, optional

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a large loaf tin. Slice two of the bananas (into whatever shape you like) and set aside.
Mash the remaining bananas in a large bowl and add the eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat well. I do this in my freestanding mixer, but you could just as easily do it by hand.
Sift the dry ingredients over the top and fold in gently until combined. Pour half the mixture into the greased loaf tin, then scatter over a handful of chopped banana. Pour the rest of the mixture into the tin, then arrange the remaining sliced banana and walnut halves, if using, on top.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Have a sweet, sweet weekend everyone. We will be deep in packing/cleaning/tidying hell, eating lots of sustaining banana bread to keep us going... Pin It


  1. I can relate to the Aussie ladies comments because I've missed bananas over the last few months here in Melbourne but they're coming back! Yay...
    I like to keep my bananas in the fridge. Unfortunately this turns their skins black but if you can ignore that...and hey you don't eat that part anyway...they are perfect. Cool, firm and not overripe. Just the way I like them.

    I love banana bread too so will try your version. It looks so moist and delish...thanks ;D

  2. I had no idea there was a banana shortage. I can't imagine life without them, must be murder. There have been quite a few banana loaf recipes and my muffins, of course, popping up on the internet this week. Must be something in the air...panic? Good luck with the move!

  3. Banana bread is a lovely thing and this certainly looks my kind of cake. I'm a bit concerned about the Great Australian Banana Shortage, though. I know Australia can be a bit remote - is it because they've just heard about the great smoking banana skin hoax of 1967?

  4. I'm always on the look out for new banana bread/cake recipes. It's something I bake a lot of since I always seem to have very ripe bananas lying around in the fruit tray! Thanks for posting this recipe. :-) ...and my 2 cents worth on bananas? Well, I recently tweeted that I've found bananas of late pretty tastless even when super ripe (ethical/fairtrade included). Have you found that so as well?

  5. LOVE banana bread so so much. So much, it's my go-to for freezer bananas. Have never tried Ernesto's version but love the look of yours. Good luck with the packing/cleaning/moving, urgh!

  6. I'm a Sydneysider and I can't tell you how many conversations I've had and overheard about bananas these first few months. This morning I saw a lady jumping for joy in Woolworths when she saw the bananas are back to $3.99/kilo!
    I also went past a shop the other day with a sign that read 'No cash or bananas kept on the premises overnight'....

  7. Oh man I love a banana bread. This looks so great too with the decorated top. I need some NOW. Send bananas immediately.

  8. Yum, banana bread never goes out of style. This one must be so nice and moist with the milk and oil! Good luck with the move :)

  9. I've been meaning to try this recipe ever since I saw it in the Dom Post a while ago... thanks for the reminder, as I've got some bananas to use up! Good luck with the move :)


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