Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post. Doves Farm has a new feel-good, colourful look, which celebrates the joy of home baking. To celebrate this, I’m sharing 2 of my favourite feel-good recipes.
Banana bread must be one of the most well-loved things to bake in the UK! It’s not surprising though as it’s such a simple thing to make and uses up those brown bananas from the fruit bowl or freezer. When I was growing up my mum would bake a simple banana bread, often with walnuts and demerara sugar on top for crunch. We’d eat slices of it with cream cheese as a comforting afternoon snack. It’s such a classic, easy bake which everyone loves, which makes it ideal as a feel-good gift for friends and family.
Over the years I’ve made many iterations of banana bread. One of my favourite little twists to do is to swap out a portion of the plain flour for Doves Farm organic wholemeal buckwheat flour. I find this makes for a very tender, light banana bread with a nutty, earthy flavour which goes so well with the sweetness of the bananas. Due to the lack of gluten in buckwheat flour, I like to combine it with a small amount of plain white flour to help the loaf hold together well.
This batter is super easy to blend up so takes little time to prep. I use really ripe, frozen bananas which I’ve let defrost at room temp until they’re completely soft. They usually seep some liquid when this happens so make sure they’re in a shallow bowl of some kind as you don’t want to lose any of that moisture!
I sprinkled some buckwheat groats onto the cake batter before baking which crisp up in the oven for an easy, crunchy topping to the cake – delicious but optional! You can always replace the buckwheat groat sprinkle with some roughly chopped walnuts or pecans.
Stockists for Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour are Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners, dovesfarm.co.uk
Banana Buckwheat Batter:
- 260g (1 cup) overripe bananas (peeled weight), roughly 3 medium
- 150g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
- 90g (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp fine table salt
- Pinch ground cloves
- 150g (1 1/4 cups) Doves Farm Organic Stoneground Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour
- 45g (1/3 cup) Doves Farm Organic Plain White Flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 or 2 small, ripe bananas
- 30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp buckwheat groats, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F). Grease and line an 8-inch square cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
- Place the overripe bananas, sugar, oil, salt and cloves into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth (or alternatively use a stick blender in a large bowl to blitz together). Add the flours and bicarbonate of soda and blend again to combine.
- Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and set aside.
For the caramelised bananas:
- Peel your 1 or 2 ripe bananas (I like to use 1 if I’m making a loaf cake or 2 if I’m baking a square cake) and slice in half down their length.
- Heat the butter, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has fully melted, add the bananas cut side-down into the frying pan. Fry for a couple of minutes until the undersides start to get a bit golden.
- Gently lift the bananas from the pan, taking care not to touch the hot caramel. Place them, cut side-up onto the cake batter. Drizzle over any remaining caramel from the pan then sprinkle on the buckwheat groats (if using).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes (if baking in a square tin) or 50-60
minutes (if baking in a loaf tin) until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.