Friday 20 April 2012

Classic Banana Bread

Good afternoon!

Here is the third recipe I am sharing from this month's Cookbook of the Month, 'The Sweet Life' by Kate Bracks. Yes, this is another basic recipe, but that is what I am loving about this book. Each chapter of the book is divided into two sections: The basics; and, Beyond the basics. Sometimes something simple is all you want, and it's recipes like these that I feel are the litmus test to a cookbook.

Ahhh the simple things.. a good banana bread would definitely be among them, but here are my top ten favourite simple things (in no particular order) :

1. A hot shower
2. A good cup of coffee
3. A warm hug
4. Clean bed sheets
5. My pillow
6. A good night's sleep
7. The smell that fills the house when something is baking
8. My baby's smile
9. Putting my feet up at the end of a long day
10. A nice glass of wine

Out of everything on this list, the one thing that eludes me most is a good night's sleep. We're pretty sure The Emperor is teething now as we can feel a sharp little gnasher starting to poke through his lower gums, so the poor guy is obviously in quite a bit of discomfort. This means frequent night waking and not much sleep for Mummy dearest... Who knows when the day will come that I get a full night's rest again, I have almost forgotten what it feels like it's been so long. But when it does come, it will be so utterly, utterly delicious!

American Banana Bread with Walnuts
Recipe from 'The Sweet Life' by Kate Bracks


100g regular (i.e salted) butter, at room temperature, chopped
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
60ml (1/4 cup) buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
50g (1/2 cup) walnuts, chopped*
*Simply omit if you're not a fan of walnuts in your banana bread


1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Grease a 21cm x 10cm (base measurement) loaf tin and line the base with baking paper, extending over the two long sides.

2. Use electric beaters to cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana and vanilla extract. Sift the flour into the mixture. Add the buttermilk, and fold through until thoroughly combined. Stir through the walnuts.

3. Spoon into the loaf tin, and bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This is a great classic banana bread recipe. So after testing three of her basic recipes I'm happy to give all three the thumbs up, and I look forward to trying out some of the 'Beyond the basics' recipes soon. Stay tuned!

Ladybird xxx


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