It seems ages since I have been found pottering in my little kitchen baking before my guests arrived to stay for a wonderful few days. I have missed the smell of newly bakes cooling on the side not to mention the anticipation of trying out something new! I just enjoy savouring that first taste as flavours mingle and burst into chorus on my pallet.
100g (4 oz) softened butter
100g (4 oz) soft dark brown sugar
50ml (2 fl oz) runny honey – I used Gales honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
½ tsp cinnamon
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
50g (2 oz) pecan nuts, chopped
50g (2 oz) hazelnuts, chopped
You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin that is greased with butter and lined with greaseproof paper or baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
In a large mixing bowl add the butter, sugar and honey and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract to the lightly beaten egg, then add a little of the egg mixture a little at a time, beating well at each addition until all combined. Gently fold in the mashed banana through the mixture with the chopped nuts. Sieve the flour and cinnamon into the mixture and fold through gently with a large metal spoon until all is combined. Lastly add the milk and quickly fold through and place into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top of the mixture over.
Place into the preheated oven towards the bottom of the oven *if placed too high in the oven the top will burn before being baked through*. Bake for 50 -1 hour or until it feels firm to a gentle touch in the middle or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack. Remove the paper and wrap in foil and store in an airtight container or slice it up and eat it plain or butter each slice the choice is yours.
Note: if the top of the loaf seems to be browning too quickly towards the end cover the top over with a sheet of baking paper, this will help prevent the top from burning.
Top Tip: I weighed my sugar out then poured the runny on top of the sugar to weigh out the correct amount. This saved having to scrap the honey out of the weighing scale bowl.