All my baking this week has been school related so here’s a delicious and simple recipe for banana bread. It’s a great bake to make with kids and can be scaled up very easily too.
A quick blog from me tonight as I’m surrounded by even more cake, while I make the 75th Anniversary cake for the Federation of Master Builders tomorrow.
Once you’ve appeared on Bake Off, there’s no ducking out of school cake duties. I’m a parent governor at my daughters’ school too so I try to help with baking for a good cause. It was the summer fair this weekend and as well as judging the school Bake Off, I made the ‘Guess The Weight’ cake in the picture above. I also ran it as a competition on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. It was five 8 inch layers of vanilla sponge sandwiched together with homemade lemon curd and lemon Italian meringue butter cream, and topped with lemon macarons and meringue kisses. I was really pleased with how the striped colours worked on the sides of the cake. I used three different Italian meringue butter creams, piped it around the cake and then smoothed it with one of these tools. The weather forecast was warm so Italian meringue butter cream was the most stable choice – there’s a straightforward recipe for it in my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself. The cake came in at 4.016kg in the end and I’m glad it survived the sunny, windy day and went to a good home. It was won by the lady who carried last year’s “Guess The Weight” cake all around the field, so that’s what I call good cake karma.
Last week, I had also promised to go into school to bake with the Year 3 children (120 seven and eight year olds!) I must admit, I hadn’t had much time to think about what to make with them until a couple of days before when I settled on banana bread, as I’d wanted a bake free of refined sugar. The downside of this was that I then needed to get 72 ripe / over-ripe bananas so I whizzed round all my local grocers the night before – the browner the better. You can also put bananas in the oven to ripen them, but that wasn’t possible for the sessions I was doing with the kids, as I only had the staff room oven to work with. The kids worked in groups of 10 and there were plenty of tasks for each of them to do. They did brilliantly – better than some adults I’ve done master classes with! I will definitely be back next year for more baking fun. I doubled the recipe below for each group and we baked them in disposable foil trays. The quantities below are perfect for baking in a loaf tin, but feel free to scale the recipe up if you want to bake with a group too.
Banana Bread Recipe
- 250g plain flour
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- 3 ripe bananas
- 125g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 30ml honey
- 50g dark chocolate chips
- 30ml apple juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
- Peel the bananas and mash to a pulp on a chopping board with a fork (don’t worry about leaving it lumpy).
- Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric hand whisk.
- Add the eggs to the creamed butter until fully incorporated and fluffy. Beat in the honey and fold in the mashed bananas.
- Combine the dry ingredients together and then fold into the mixture. Fold in the apple juice and chocolate chips.
- Pour into a loaf tin lined with baking parchment and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. If you’re scaling the recipe up to double, for example, the baking time will be longer – around 50 minutes in a fan oven.
- Take out and allow to cool. If you have the patience, leave until the following day when it will taste its best. Alternatively, stuff your face!
A busy week ahead for me with lots on so looking forward to updating you next week. In the meantime, Happy Baking!