- 110g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 85ml buttermilk (you can make a substitute by mixing 1 ½ tsp lemon juice with normal milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 285g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line or grease a loaf tin. I didn’t have a loaf tin at university when I started making these, so I used a 10” cake tin instead.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs, the mashed bananas, the buttermilk and the vanilla extract into the mixture.
- Sieve in the flour, followed by the bicarbonate of soda and the salt and mix well.
- Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour at 180ºC, or until well-risen and browned.
- Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool on a wire rack.
(Recipe adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bananabread_85720)
In my opinion, banana bread is one of the best cakes for students and frankly became a bit of a staple in my kitchen last year. It’s rich in potassium and so good for brain functions (how many of us were told to eat bananas during exam season?), and it’s not so sugary that you get a sugar high and then crash shortly after eating it. It makes for a great energising snack and goes very well with a cup of Darjeeling.
The process of making them is rather ideal for students too. I would usually buy a big bunch of bananas at the market as part of my weekly shop, and inevitably I wouldn’t get through all of them before they became overripe, so mashing them and baking with them is a good way of making sure they don’t go to waste. It’s also a fairly quick and simple recipe; it usually takes me about 15 minutes to make up the mixture and get it ready for the oven, and then you can go off and do other things while you wait for it to cook. Granted, the first time I took my books into the kitchen so that I could keep an eye on it, but it happily sits in the oven and slowly cooks, so I usually just went back to my room or the library.
Another feature of the banana bread is that it’s very easy to share, whether you’ve made it as a loaf or a round cake, because you can just cut a slice whenever you need it. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll leave up to you to decide.