Tried and tested banana breads

Banana bread is a cafe stop staple, so if you plan to create a home cafe stop, then your menu has to include a banana bread or loaf. Here are two tried and tested Banana breads, each with a twist. Plus we've added alternatives so you can bake even if you don't have all the ingredients available.
Burnt Butter Banana Bread

Milli Taylor's BBBB

This banana bread has taken Instagram by storm. BBBB stands for burnt butter banana bread, and was created by chef and writer, Milli Taylor. It is one of the most hash-tagged breads on the internet at the moment. The secret is rubbing sugar around the inside of the loaf tin and browning the butter before you stir into the cake mix.

 

Ingredients
150ml dark rum 
100g sultanas
180g unsalted butter, plus 20g for greasing the tin
40g Demerara sugar
2 medium eggs
100g light muscovado sugar
2 large overripe bananas, mashed with a fork
150g self-raising flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
80g roughly chopped walnuts
You will need a 2lb loaf tin

Cook time: 45–60 minutes
Prep time: overnight soak plus 10 minutes for mixing ingredients
Preheat the oven to 160c (or 180c if non fan)

Substitutions 

Don't have rum? Use brandy, whiskey, tea, or apple juice.
Don't have sultanas? Raisins and dates work just as well.
Don't have mascavado sugar? Use light brown sugar, or even dark brown sugar.
No loaf tin? Use a high-sided baking tray; you'll end up with a tray bake. Or put your mixture into muffin cases.
Cafe for one? Half the recipe and use a smaller load tin, or put your mix into muffin cases and reduce the cooking time.

Step 1 

Put your sultanas in a small bowl with the rum and leave for 4–6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to start, grease your loaf tin with butter and then sprinkle Demerara sugar inside the tin. 

Step 2

Brown the butter by putting in a small saucepan, and on a gentle heat let it melt. Swirl the butter around and keep your eyes on it. Keep swirling every so often. Get a metal mesh sieve ready to pour the butter through.

The butter will turn light golden and then copper and smell nutty. Remove it from the heat at this point. Any more and it will go bitter.

Step 3

Strain the butter into a bowl and let it cool down. The sieve will catch any bits.

Step 4

Using an electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Keep mixing until the mixture feels thick, has little air bubbles, and turns pale.

Step 5

Add your mashed bananas, sultanas with rum, and cooled butter. Stir this with a spoon to combine.

The burnt butter banana bread mix

Step 6

Add self raising flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Fold the mixture until it is just combined, then pour it into the tin.

Step 7

Cook for 45–60 minutes. If you are making half the recipe, cook for 35–45 minutes. If you are using muffin cases, cook for 25–30 minutes and check regularly. 

Step 8 

Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before you turn it out onto a rack.

Chocolate and Banana Loaf

Chocolate in this banana bread works best when it isn't cut too small, so you bite into chunks of chocolate. It is also a simpler method and easier to make compared with the BBBB (above).

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
175g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
You will need a 900g loaf tin

Cook time: 50 minutes
Prep time: 10–15 minutes for mixing ingredients
Preheat the oven to 160c (or 180c if non fan)

Substitutions

Don't have plain flour? Self-raising flour is fine too. It already has baking powder added, so you just need to use 1 tsp of baking powder instead.
Don't have dark chocolate? Use chocolate chips.
Don't have enough bananas? That is okay, it just won't taste as banana-y. Add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease 1 x 900g loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Step 2

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Step 3

Add the vanilla extract and beat again briefly.

Step 4

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then gradually add to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat again until well combined. Beat in the mashed bananas.

Step 5

With a sharp knife, roughly chop the chocolate. You can also break it into pieces. Stir in the chocolate, gently.

Step 6

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and level it out with a spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin to cool.

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