Cakery Bakery: Banana-maple-butterscotch bread

Some days are fancy dessert days. And then, some days, you just want banana bread.

Banana bread is the sort of thing that comes in thick, butter-spread slabs, with a hot drink and a sit-down. There is something about it that creates relaxation. As I said the last time I made this – the first time, in fact, that I made anything at all – the making of banana bread tends to be spur of the moment, as you need to be in possession of a few blackened bananas. My bananas were so far gone they were about two days from jumping out of their own skins, but they made perfect cake. It’s the circle of life, my friends. Someone call Elton John.

I used Nigella’s banana bread recipe from Domestic Goddess (or here) and did a bit of fiddling with it, mostly to increase the sugar content (it was that kind of day). What I really wanted was to cram it with those semi-sweet American chocolate chips – of which, wonderfully, we have half a bag in the cupboard – but Tim hates it when fruit and chocolate fraternise in his mouth. So I used about 100g of Hershey’s butterscotch chips instead. By themselves, they’re a little overwhelming, but in a damp and fragrant banana bread, they were lovely.

The method is simple enough: dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, mix them together with moderate enthusiasm, scrape into a loaf tin. As with most fruit-based cake, the oven goes on low and long – I kept it in for a little over an hour, which seemed to be about the right amount of time. Then, when it was out and steaming on the side, I poked holes all over it with a knife and poured on some leftover maple syrup. The syrup glazed the top and sides, making the crust slightly crunchy while the insides stayed soft and warm.

And then we ate a lot. It was flipping marvellous.

See the previous post for deliciousness and complexity verdicts. The butterscotch/maple additions were a great success, I’d say – though chocolate chips would still have been better. Heigh-ho. Marriage is about compromise, and also about eating as much cake as you can manage.

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