Banana Bread

Two whole days, two old friends and altogether I’ve just had a very busy few days. My childhood friend from Sydney came down for a visit on Tuesday. So you can tell I was excited and obviously wanted to bake some yummy goodies for my friend and her family, hence I chose to bake my all time favourite chocolate and nut brownies (the recipe from my first blog post). And then I felt like baking something a little milder to match the chocolate-laden brownies. One of the first recipe books that I got was a gift from my dad when I was 13 and ever since that I’ve been baking regularly. He had gotten me two books from Seattle, one called ‘Cookies’ and the other ‘Bread Machine’. They’re both really great books and every recipe I have ever tried from them has turned out flawless. I personally think nothing beats the authenticity of recipe books and recipe cards.

Anyway after a while of flipping through, I found a recipe for Banana Gingerbread. I am not a fan of gingerbread or ginger cookies so I omitted the ginger and turned the recipe into good old ‘banana bread’.
It took less than 15 minutes to mix and pop this one into the oven. I used a simple loaf baking pan. Overall I was happy with the outcome. The only thing I wish I had done was to really mix the batter properly. The first part of the recipe requires sifting the dry ingredients together and then pouring a molten mixture of sugar and margarine on to the dry ingredients, after which they are mixed together. Even though the banana bread tasted pretty good, I still thought it was dry in certain parts because of the inadequate mixing. So I’ll be sure to do that next time.

If  you want to try making banana gingerbread instead, just mix two teaspoons of ginger powder along with the sifted flour. I found a packet of self raising flour sitting at home and that’s what I used instead of all purpose flour and baking soda, so feel free to use either. To decorate I wanted to mix icing sugar with water to make a thick icing paste and then drizzle it in patterns onto the pieces of sliced banana bread. And then I wanted to add some crystalline ginger or orange pieces as toppings. But I didn’t really have any time for that and was just happy to spend two great days with an old friend through lots of going out, eating, shopping and good old girl talk.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, then stir in the oats. Melt the sugar, margarine and syrup in a saucepan over low heat, then stir this into the flour mixture. Beat in the egg and mashed bananas.
2. Grease a loaf shaped baking pan or a 7 x 11-inch cake pan. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake this for about 1 hour, until the loaf is firm to touch. Allow the loaf to cool and then turn it out and cut it into squares or slices.

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