Beat the blues Banana Bread!

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If my kids are driving me crazy at home on a rainy day, the remedy is often to get them in the kitchen to do some baking! The change of scene and the idea of making something delicious they can eat seems to re-set the behaviour dial, and they often rise to the challenge. This banana bread is a foolproof all-in-one recipe that uses up old mushy bananas, of which we always seem to have at least one lingering in our fruit bowl.

2 browning medium sized bananas
2 large free range eggs
260g self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
110g softened butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
Chocolate chips or dates cut into small pieces (optional)
Use a tiny bit of milk if the mixture seems to dry or if you have only small bananas

This makes enough for a 22cm loaf tin, or about 16 medium sized muffins, but you can scale up or down fairly easily. If you want a stickier batch then you can halve the amount of dry ingredients, and you can even experiment with adding part soft brown sugar to make them a little more gooey! You can also halve the dry ingredients if you have only one banana, although one banana works for the larger amount too, it is just a little less sticky, but a very nice banana flavoured cake nevertheless! In essence, you can’t really go wrong as long as you keep the egg and flour ratio the same.

Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. My 2 year old is usually given the task of mashing the bananas into a large mixing bowl with a plastic fork, although I usually have to help a little to make them really mushy. You can add a drop of milk here of they are less ripe. Add the sugar next and then the butter, mixing these in a thoroughly before adding the dry ingredients. If my daughter is helping too, then I give her a separate bowl in which to cream together the butter and sugar, but it’s not essential. If the butter is softened first, then mixing it all in one bowl will work better. Don’t melt the butter completely, but, if like me you haven’t had time to think ahead before taking to the kitchen, a short burst in the microwave to soften it won’t do any harm! You just want to avoid large lumps. Once it is all mixed together add it to either a silicone loaf mould, or a lined and greased tin. Bake in the oven for around 50 minutes, or 35-40 mins if you have scaled down. Insert a skewer into the middle and when it comes out clean then the cake is ready.

We made a large loaf with added chocolate chips and I think it was eaten in two days. My husband enjoyed a fair few slices too!

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