Sunday, 31 August 2014

A treat for the last day of August....

 August 31st. Already. HOW did we get here so soon?! It's been a golden day....not hot, but warm with the leaves on the ripening tomatoes beginning to yellow and the other plants starting to look a little tired. I found these very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. They spoke to me...and the words they said were 'banana bread'! How could I resist? I made 2 big loaves, but the recipe below has been written for 1...feel free to double up and freeze one, or - as I am doing - give one away to a neighbour!

Sugar Moon Banana Bread - loosely based on a recipe by the inspirational Ina Garten

3 large very ripe bananas
250g/2 cups rye flour (I devised this recipe for my Mum, who is wheat-intolerant although not coeliac. If you prefer, you can use spelt, wholewheat or simply plain white flour. I just love the taste of rye!)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Big pinch of sea salt
50g/ 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional but lovely, I think!)
150g/ 1 & 1/2 cups light soft brown sugar - muscovado if possible
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla powder or good vanilla extract
120ml/ 1/2 cup sunflower oil
120ml/ 1/2 cup full-fat Greek could also use sour cream or creme fraiche of that's what you have...but don't use low-fat anything!

Preheat oven to 175c/350f
Line a 1kg/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or a liner...

 ...comme ca!
 This is the rye flour I use, by the way...available in most supermarkets. I use it a lot because although rye does contain gluten, it has much less and is usually suitable for those with an intolerance to wheat.
Peel the bananas and break into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the brown sugar...
 and mix, using the paddle attachment, until the bananas are properly broken up...they will never be fully smooth, but should be liquidy by now!
Add the vanilla - I use Ndali organic pure vanilla powder because it's Fairtrade and also absolutely gorgeous...
 but any decent extract will do, of course. Then add the oil, yoghurt and eggs to the bowl too...
 Mix again until well combined, then add in the dry ingredients, except the walnuts if using, and mix on the lowest setting just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the nuts and stir in using a spatula...
 Pour into the prepared tin....
 it looks and smells divine by this point, with the little specks of cinnamon & vanilla clearly visible...
 Bake for approximately 1 hour...if you have a 'hot' oven, start checking after 45 minutes and rotate the pan if necessary to achieve an even bake. When done, the cake should be well-risen and golden brown...

 Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack....
... although a barely-warm slice is absolutely irresistible....

Well, I certainly found it so! It smells almost alcoholic...probably the ripeness of the bananas...just beautiful. It freezes well for up to a month, or will keep for a couple of days if wrapped well - if it's warm where you are, store in the fridge.

I hope you make it and enjoy it....see you in September!


  1. Hi, Rachel ... YUM! I would love to give this a try. These days, I'm especially looking for recipes that are gluten-free, as my son has developed an intolerance in middle-age; and I have to steer clear of nuts since his son is allergic to them! Just wondering ... in your expert baking opinion, do you think coconut flour and coconut oil could be substituted? Wishing you a happy transition into Autumn. Hugs from Alabama ...

  2. Hi Sharon...thanks for the lovely comment. So sorry about your son, that must be difficult. Obviously you can leave the nuts out, and coconut oil would work perfectly too I think. Coconut flour is a difficult one, as it absorbs so much more liquid than the regular flours...I would have to experiment before recommending that. But why not use one of the gluten free flour mixes, like Bob's Red Mill? That would be perfect. Do try it & let me know?!! Xx

    1. I appreciate your reply, and will look for the flour mix you recommended; baking is not my forte (nor cooking, for that matter!), so I appreciate any pointers. I did not know about that characteristic of coconut flour. Thanks!

  3. Scrumptious! Adding to my Rachel file. Still terribly hot & humid here, not quite ready for fall baking. But I'll be prepared when the weather turns! XO jo

  4. Oh I LOVE banana bread. I might make this recipe this week, if the temperature cools down a bit.

  5. Rachel, this looks delish! We have some bananas that we need to use so I will try your recipe. The rye flour sounds interesting. ♥

  6. I haven't made this for years ~ you always inspire! I discovered {when given a 5lb bag of nearly black bananas} that you can freeze them! I did so, in their skins, just defrost before incorporating into your mix.


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