Banana and Walnut Tea Bread

I don’t really like bananas, but I hate wasting food even more. I had to make this after I found myself unable to part with a glut of slowly blackening bananas. The walnuts and rum-soaked raisins really bring out the sweetness of the ripe fruit. This goes beautifully with chunks of cheddar.



Ingredients:
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
60g walnuts, chopped roughly
125g butter, melted
150g sugar
175g plain flour
100g sultanas
75ml dark rum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
23 x 13 x7cm loaf tin, buttered and floured or with a paper insert

Method:

1) Put the sultanas and alcohol in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid then drain.

2) Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3 and put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and using your hands or a wooden spoon combine well. In a large bowl mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended.

3) Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.

4) Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 – 1 1/4 hours. When it’s ready an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool. Will last up to a week in an airtight tin.

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