belated happy banana bread day.

Yes, it’s not an UK national day but I like commemorations. Why the hell can’t I commemorate it? And why the hell can’t I create my own national days? Ok, with that all cleared up let’s bake a banana bread on this saturnine Sunday afternoon. It will be my Oscars night’s snack.

This is a recipe we have made for a while and I have to say I never quite get it right. Or because I eat all the walnuts, or because I drink all the rum or because I eat all the sultanas or because I add too much chocolate and the banana bread does not rise screaming for Viagra. Or because I sometimes think I am Nigella reincarnated and start freestyle mode and, obviously, get all the measurements wrong.

But I always get it right when I reincarnate Nigella and eat a huge slice of cake in the middle of the night only being caught by the fridge light whilst going in for the milk. Whole milk, none of that skimmed shit.

Well, today I followed the recipe to a T and I must say it was a success (even being distracted by watching Take That perform on “Let it Shine”; I miss Jason, though). It’s impossible to screw this (except you’re me).

Just a few tips on “how-not-to-screw-up-nigellas-banana-bread”:
– one hour in my electric oven is enough to get my golden, fluffy banana bread,
– the longer the sultanas soak the better, and
– don’t drink all the rum (it’s sultanas’ time to get drunk).

It is perfect to bake it on a Sunday as it goes beautifully with plain greek yogurt and a cuppa of Earl Grey for Monday’s breakfast. What better than to have this combo watching BBC Breakfast?

Nigella’s “Banana Bread”

Link to Nigella’s recipe
100 grams sultanas
75 millilitres dark rum (or Bourbon)
175 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
125 grams unsalted butter (melted)
150 grams caster sugar
2 large eggs
4 small very ripe bananas (mashed)
60 grams chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
3. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
4. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours. When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.

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