Browning Banana Bread

At work, we have introduced a fruit bowl and throughout the week, I notice people steer clear of the bananas that are starting to spot. I think this is a perfect time to eat them, but it puts alot of people off. Rather than binning these perfectly good fruit, the sweetness works really well in banana bread. I have done a couple of other leftover banana bread recipes, but this one from Ruby Tandoh had an added splash of rum which was always going to be favourable for me. The cardamom pods also add another dimension of flavour that isn't in a lot of cakes and this is what makes a few of the Bake Off star's recipes interesting (see this caraway carrot cake)

125g unsalted butter, softened
110g agave nectar
2 medium bananas, well mashed
2 tablespoons rum or brandy
2 large eggs
190g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed
Glaze (optional)
25ml water
100g icing sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Grease and line the loaf tin with baking parchment.

2 Cream the butter then stir in the agave nectar. Beat in the bananas and rum or brandy, then the eggs and a couple of tablespoons of the flour. Beat until smooth, but don’t worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage. Combine the remaining flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cardamom in a separate bowl then add this to the wet mixture. Fold the ingredients together then stir lightly until fully combined.

3 Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is in the oven, make the glaze: stir the water into the icing sugar, a teaspoonful at a time, until combined. Set aside.

4 Once the cake is done let it cool in its tin for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack set over a tray (to catch any drips). Spoon the icing over the top of the cake while it’s still hot. The glaze will cover the top and run down the sides in thick rivulets, but will set to a cracked sugar crust as the cake cools.
As well as a perfect accompaniment with tea, these worked really well wrapped in cling film and used a sustenance whilst on a long walk.


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