Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Banana and cardamom bread

This banana bread was a little bit if an experiment, I normally follow recipes, sometimes it is just a basic recipe that I use for inspiration, other times it is a hash of a few recipes but still, a recipe is involved somewhere.

This banana bread was a worry the whole time it was in the oven as I have to admit I went totally off piste and made it up as I went along.

The reason for this is that I love banana bread but find it can often be quite heavy, I wanted to lighten the cake, BUT in lightening it I did not want to make it too dry, banana bread is most definitely meant to be moist and lovely. So I used a ratio of roughly 65% butter, 35% 0% fat greek yoghurt.

I also find some banana breads overly sweet, I think the bananas are sweet already, especially if they are nice and black! So not too much sugar, though it is still needed for the cakes structure.

Finally I love cardamom and thought adding some would add a lovely warmth and go well with the banana.

Although I created this I do not claim to be original, if I searched google long enough I am sure other people would have similar ideas to me!

My main concern was that there would not be enough fat, and maybe it would not hold together or be too dry and crumbly. I need not have worried so much. The resulting banana bread is a perfect loaf, it is not dense at all but light and still very moist. I love the cardamom in it but this is of course personal preference and could be omitted or replaced with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Banana and Cardamom bread

3 medium bananas, overripe
70g butter
200g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 eggs
40g greek yoghurt
75ml buttermilk 
275g plain flour
tsp bicarbonate of soda
Seeds from 5 cardamom pods crushed in a pestle and mortar

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN. Grease a 2lb loaf tin, loaf tin sizes confuse me but I mean the bigger one. 

Mash the bananas well and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla (if using). Due to the the ratio of sugar to flour it will not cream to a light and fluffy mass like other cakes. However persevere as it will become uniform in colour and texture with no lumps of butter, then it is ready.

Mix together the eggs, greek yoghurt and buttermilk, add to the butter and sugar and mix well. Mix in the mashed banana.

Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and crushed cardamom seeds and fold through the wet ingredients until everything is well incorporated.

Tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, it could take up to an hour so keep an eye on it.

When a skewer comes out clean it is cooked, leave to cool in the tin for ~10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

This cake keeps for about 3 days and is delicious as it is, in my opinion it does not need spreading with more butter. Mind you if that's how you like it who am I to argue?


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