Monday, 18 March 2013

Cinnamon Banana Bread

Cinnamon is a magnificent spice, sweet and warming with a captivating fragrance. It has the extraordinary quality of feeling both enchantingly exotic and comfortingly familiar, which is no doubt why it is so frequently used in a myriad of cakes, bakes and breads. This banana bread is a splendiferous showcase of its charms, moist and sticky, with a heady mix of spice and sweetness. You can enjoy it naked, but I cannot resist defiling it with peanut butter. Indulgent to the point of excess that may be, but I make no apologies!

Prep time: 10 Mins (Plus some soaking time)
Baking time: 75 Mins
200ml Hot Strong Tea
150g Dates (Chopped)
100g Golden Syrup, plus 3tbsp
225g Self Raising Flour
75g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 heaped tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 heaped tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Ripe Bananas (Well mashed)

The first thing to take care of is soaking the dates. Pour the hot tea over the chopped dates and drizzle in 100g of the golden syrup. Mix together and leave for an hour or two until cool.

Once the tea mixture is cool the rest is merely a triviality. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease a 22cm loaf tin, lining the base with baking paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, then pour over the tea mixture in its entirety and mix together until evenly combined. Fold through the mashed banana, then pour into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for around 75 minutes, until the loaf has risen and a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle.

When you're happy it is cooked, remove the banana bread from the oven. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Heat the remaining 3tbsp of golden syrup for 30 seconds in the microwave, then brush generously all over the top and leave to cool. You're all finished, so time to reward yourself with a thick slice.

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