This method has been adapted from a Mary Berry recipe given to me by a friend a long time ago. So long ago, that I can’t remember which friend gave it to me, and have no idea from which of Mary’s many books it hails. Nevertheless, it is one of my favourite things to bake, and perfect for using up very ripe bananas, of which I had two in my kitchen this morning.
The fantastic thing about baking with banana is the way in which it keeps the sponge dense, yet soft and moist at the same time, creating a homely, comforting taste. Perfect with a cup of tea. I have found, on more than one occasion, that people who don’t like bananas enjoy this loaf. So, even if you can’t stand the squidgy, yellow fruits (or rather herbs, I think) why not give this recipe a whirl?
And to top it all off, when I make this loaf I tend to leave the chocolate chunks in quite large pieces (I usually chop up a bar of Sainsbury’s basics dark chocolate, 30p for 100g), this means that the chocolate sinks to the bottom, creating a delightful layer of richness.
The ingredients listed have been altered slightly from the original recipe I was given, as I found that there simply wasn’t enough mixture the first time I made this, for the size of my loaf tin.
- 2 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
- 2 tbsp milk (semi-skimmed or whole is fine)
- 50g soft butter (when I initially doubled up the ingredients, I kept the butter the same in an attempt to make the loaf healthier. You may feel that you want to add more, after a first attempt, but I personally think it works just fine)
- 150g plain flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarb
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 free-range eggs
- 100g dark chocolate broken up, or dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 160c/ gas mark 3. Grease and line a loaf tin of approx. 28cm.
- Using a fork, mash the peeled bananas in a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate) and beat well with an electric whisk until combined and smooth.
- Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until well-risen. The loaf should be golden brown in colour, and shrinking away from the sides.
- Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
If eaten warm while the chocolate is still gooey, with a cup of tea in hand, this loaf warms the cockles of my heart.