The thought of having a bin full of decaying fruit instills sadness in me. When an apple starts to bruise around the edges I will slice it up, add some cinnamon, oats and serve the crumble with jugfuls of rich, smooth custard. If the plums start to soften I will put them in a pan with orange and sugar and stew them softly. When the bananas are delicately speckled with brown spots, they are soon mashed with eggs, flour and sugar and baked at 170 degrees.

A banana loaf is a cake that can never be planned but can be anticipated for. When the bananas are soft and have turned from yellow to brown, it is prime loaf time. The soft bananas are easily mashed providing a moist texture and a subtle flavour. I always add dark chocolate to a banana loaf; it is best to eat fresh out the oven when it is warm and gooey.

A banana loaf is a simple cake. It can be eaten fresh out the oven, warm and gooey with a steaming cup of coffee. It can be eaten days later, topped with spoonfuls of Italy’s finest hazelnut and chocolate creation. A simple cake, that is consistently delicious.

banana loaf

The Recipe

175g butter
175g caster sugar
75g walnuts, chopped plus extra for the top
2 eggs
175g self raising flour
2 ripe bananas, mashed
175g dark chocolate chips

– Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
– Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
– In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
– Add the eggs to the butter mixture, adding a little flour if it looks like it is curdling.
– Add the rest of the flour and walnuts.
– Add the mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Mix all the batter together.
– Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour. To test the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
– Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.
– Drizzle with Nutella and sprinkle on the remaining walnuts.