Banana and Walnut Loaf - Unlive by Lindsey

This is a lovely, moist cake that keeps well and is perfect for picnics or packed lunches. In the summer it's brilliant served cut in thick slices and spread with clotted cream.


Serves 8

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and Delia’s Vegetarian Collection

Banana and Walnut Loaf - Unlive by Lindsey
 4 medium bananas (approximately 12 oz/350 g)
 6 oz (175 g) walnut pieces
 pinch of salt
 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 4 oz (110 g) plain flour
 4 oz (110 g) wholewheat flour
 grated zest 1 orange
 grated zest 1 lemon
 4 oz (110 g) butter at room temperature
 6 oz (175 g) soft dark brown sugar
 2 large eggs at room temperature
For the topping:
 1 level tablespoon demerara sugar
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

You will also need a 2 lb (900 g) loaf tin, lightly buttered.


Begin, as soon as the oven has pre-heated, by spreading the nuts out on a baking sheet and toasting them lightly in the oven for 7-8 minutes – use a timer so that you don't forget them. After that, remove them from the oven to a chopping board, let them cool briefly, then chop them fairly roughly. Now, in a bowl, peel and mash 3 of the bananas to a purée with a fork, and peel and chop the other one into ½ inch (1 cm) chunks.

Next you need to take a large mixing bowl and sift the salt, baking powder, cinnamon and both the flours into it, holding the sieve up high to give it a good airing, then adding the bran that's left in the sieve. Now simply add all the remaining ingredients (except the chopped banana and nuts) and, using an electric hand whisk, begin to beat the mixture, first on a slow speed for about half a minute, then increasing the speed to mix everything thoroughly and smoothly. Then lightly fold in the chopped banana and walnuts. You may need to add a drop of milk to give a mixture that drops easily off a spoon when you give it a sharp tap on the side of the bowl.

Next pile the mixture into the tin, level the top with the back of a spoon and sprinkle on the demerara sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1¼-1½ hours, until the cake feels springy in the centre.

After that, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes before turning it out on to a wire tray. Then let it get completely cold before serving or transferring it to a cake tin.

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