Tuesday, May 21

Buttery Banana Bread

It's exam season. That horrific, painful time of year for every adolescent across the country.
I'm not an exam person. I never have been.
And so I have developed a form of therapy to cope with this stress- I like to call it Procrasti-baking!



When I was sitting my school exams there was a regular protocol in my house.
Every morning before an exam I would walk around on the brink of a panic attack, sweating heavily, and wondering if running upstairs and hiding under my duvet would dissolve the looming torture ahead.
My mother would give me a hug, thrust a Tupperware box into my hand, and then push me out of the door to go and (hopefully) nail my exam.



Within this Tupperware box there was always, without fail, a piece of delicious, moist, buttery banana bread!
It lasts for days, keeps it strong fruity flavour, and boosts energy levels.
The sugary topping adds a crumbly crunch against the moist bread and it is without a doubt one of my simplest, staple, and favourite bakes.
Since university exams have just begun, I'm carrying on my mother's tradition. A piece of this beauty toasted in the morning and lathered with a little bit of butter is the perfect wake up call!


This recipe makes 1 very large loaf or a few mini ones. I decided on making one big loaf to toast in the mornings, and then a few tiny ones with an added cheeky swirl of Nutella to settle my sweet tooth.
I've found adding some roughly chopped chocolate (usually around 200g), or a bag of walnuts is also a delicious variant. Give it a go!

To make your own, you will need:
- 100g softened butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ripe mashed bananas
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- A couple of tsps of demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
- (Optionals: 200g chopped chocolate/walnuts. A couple of tbsp Nutella to swirl around)


Preheat your oven to 180C (160 fan), and line a loaf tin with baking parchment or a case.
This is how utterly simple this recipe is, all you need to do is measure all of the ingredients except the bananas into a mixing bowl and combine for a couple of seconds. Add the banana and mix together- ideally want a lumpy but evenly combined mixture.




Give your ripened, soft bananas a good smooshing with a fork before stirring in!



Try to avoid what I always inevitably end up doing by eating half of the batter. It's hard, but you can always try to test that will power...Or of course just succumb to delicious battery bliss!


Pour the banana batter into the prepared tins or cases so that they are around 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops well with some demerara sugar- this will create a fabulous crunchy topping once out of the oven.


Okay...So exams might be making me slightly dependent on chocolate at the moment, and I think everyone agrees with me that Nutella is the food of the Gods!
In my mini cases, I added a delicious dollop of Nutella into the centre of my batter before swirling in with a spoon.





YUMMMM!
Slide the loaves into the oven; the big one needs around 1 hour, whilst the smaller ones need only about 30 minutes.
The tops should be a beautiful sugary gold and a skewer should come out clean.


Once out of the oven, leave to cool or serve warm with a dollop of ice cream!



I could not wait to slice up this bad boy and pop it into the toaster!
It might be a simple loaf, but show stopping looks aren't always everything.
You do not have to have a million ingredients to create a winner, sometimes it is the simpler things in life which pack a punch!


Good luck in your exams everyone, just remember that it is nearly over and then you have the whole summer ahead.
If in doubt, have a break, make a cup of tea, and even do some procrasti-baking if you fancy it!
Pimms, sun, and sea are on their way!
I can taste those sweet strawberries as I type....

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry's Foolproof Cakes.
(Mary is the God of baking, this book is my absolute bible! Perfect is you are a beginner or want some classic bakes which work faultlessly every single time!)
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34 comments

  1. Looks delicious! I get the whole hiding under a blanket during exams thing, the boyfriend and I regularly hide under the blanket and call it an iglo, which is where time just stops, so you're not wasting revision time haha. It's where I go when I freak out. Yeah I'm a bit strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, you aren't alone.
      I call mine the duvet tent.
      Little bubble from the world!
      x

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  2. BEAUtiful baking ma dear :)
    The smell of freshly baked banana bread wafting through the house, that would calm all exams nerves and transport us all to a happy foodies heaven!
    Last push now, then summer loving here we come!!!
    x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ibbs!
      Not long to go, time to squeeze in a couple more banana breads in the mean time I think :)
      xx

      Delete
  3. I love banana bread! I bake it a couple of times a month, because we always have going off bananas hanging around - never thought to put demerara on the top though, that sounds ace, definitely trying it next time! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Holy crap, nutella? You took this thing to a whole new level. That looks delicious

    S&R
    http://www.CattailDown.Typepad.com

    Follow us on Blog Lovin'!
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/7118895/cattail-down

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can never go wrong with Nutella! x

      Delete
  5. Holy crap, nutella? You took this thing to a whole new level. That looks delicious

    S&R
    http://www.CattailDown.Typepad.com

    Follow us on Blog Lovin'!
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/7118895/cattail-down

    ReplyDelete
  6. Funnily enough I walked into the kitchen this morning and saw two bananas looking a bit sad to say the least. Then I see this. Sad bananas, no more!

    Katie <3

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  7. De-friggin-licious - banana bread has to be one of my favourite cakes!! x

    Flora
    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just love how you can have it throughout the year, no season, no special time, just all year buttery banana bliss!
      x

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  8. Oh Emily, this looks so delicious!
    I once made some fruit bread with chopped apple and cinnamon, that was good, but I'm seriously craving banana bread now! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ohhh chopped apple and cinnamon sounds lovely!! Lovely flavour combo there :) x

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  9. Ahh that looks so delicious! Wish I had some right now, seriously.
    Just handed in my final project so might treat myself and make about 12 loafs in one go!

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats Teffy! Hope your project went okay... Treat yourself! xx

      Delete
  10. Can I ask what food mixer you use? I'm looking for one that won't cost the earth.

    Some really nice pictures btw, and it's nice to see someone crediting a recipe(there are too many dishonest food bloggers around!)x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I'm at home I use my mother's KitchenAid- literally the Rolls Royce of mixers! But obviously I can't afford that hefty price on a student budget so I have a John Lewis' own hand mixer, does the job perfectly for basic cakes and is pretty reliable!
      Thanks Marc! Mary deserves the credit, she is basically my idol!

      Delete
  11. Banana cakes/puddings are one of my favourite things mixed with nutella and you're pretty much onto a winner, this looks yummy x

    http://thiswomansstyle.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am yet to meet someone that does not like Nutella! Great minds think alike :) x

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  12. Oh my lord!! Blooming gorgeous bake!!!x

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  13. Oh my...these look crazy delicious. Thanks for the recipe !
    xoxo

    www.cakeandcouture.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolute pleasure to :)(plus...I get to eat them!) x

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  14. Oh. my. goodness. Banana bread AND nutella?!?! Sounds like heaven. I need this in my life!

    New follower :)

    Michelle
    http://mash-elle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! New follower! Thanks for stopping by, got plenty more to come! :)
      xx

      Delete
  15. I love Banana Bread but good idea to add nutella

    P.xx
    greywalls94.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. swoon! xoxo from nyc & http://www.the-beautiful-things.com

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  17. I've just made this beauty and everyone loved it!! Banana bread is my fave, never disappoints! Thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad that it turned out well! It is such an addictive bake isn't it?! xx

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  18. Oh yum! I am a total banana bread fiend myself! And this looks scrumptious! Also, I am a TOTAL procrastibaker -- I probably bake the MOST during exam time -- so I totally sympathize. Thank god we're on holiday now am I right?

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  19. Banana is the only fruit allowed in dessert, in my opinion. And butter, well that is just a must.This looks like an awesome banana cake recipe xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm liking that view Emily! I honestly can't recommend it enough, I probably bake this recipe the most out of everything, it's a weekly staple in my uni house! x

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