Caramelized Banana & Pecan Nut Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8–10

Appears in

Bake

Bake

By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

Bananas do not make much of an appearance in my house because they are a trigger for my daughter’s mighty cluster headaches. However, I felt compelled to write this recipe because bananas can be simply divine when they are nestled in the warmth of bread. So my challenge was this – how can I perfect perfection? After trial and error, I found that caramelizing the bananas first is the answer.

Ingredients

  • 75 g butter, melted and cooled
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 g pecan nuts, chopped
  • handful of porridge oats, to decorate (optional)

For the caramelized bananas

  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 large bananas, cut into thick pennies

Equipment

  • 1.2 litre loaf tin

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the loaf tin with baking parchment. I usually put a strip along the whole length of the tin, making sure that it comes well over the edges. This makes it easy to remove the loaf when it is cooked.

To caramelize the bananas, put the hot water and sugar in a pan over a medium heat and then cook it for a few minutes until it just starts to go slightly darker in colour than normal honeycomb, but not super dark. Then add the softened butter and cook, stirring all the time. Add the bananas to the pan and allow them to sit in the caramel and take on a nice colour underneath as they caramelize. Flip them over then and cook them on the other side. When they have caramelized, remove them from the heat and tip them into a bowl. Mash them up with a fork, then set aside to cool down a little.

To make the cake mixture, stir the melted butter into the mashed-up bananas and add the sugar, egg, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, flour, salt and pecan nuts and gently stir everything together. Tip the mixture into your lined tin, sprinkle with the oats, if using, and then bake for 40–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

When the bread is baked, remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin – if you can wait, that is. I have been known to prise out the loaf and start ripping off chunks immediately!