Banana loaf with peanut butter frosting
The bananas need to be super-ripe for this cake recipe. If yours are under-ripe, here is a neat trick to help. Simply heat your oven to 200C (fan 180C/400F/gas 6) and place the bananas (in their skins) on a baking sheet. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins have turned black. Allow to cool a little, then peel back the banana skin to reveal soft, squishy and slightly sweet bananas. Now, will it be one slice or two?
150g butter, softened (I use salted) 150g soft light brown sugar 2 medium eggs (at room temperature) 150g wholemeal or regular self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING 25g unsalted butter, softened 125g icing sugar 60g cream cheese 50g crunchy peanut butter handful of lightly salted peanuts, to decorate (optional)
EQUIPMENT 1.2 litre loaf tin hand-held electric whisk or stand mixer
1 Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/350F/gas 4) and line the loaf tin with baking parchment. I usually put a strip along the whole length of the tin, making sure that it comes well over the edges. This makes it easy to remove the loaf when it is cooked. 2 Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Then add one of the eggs and half the flour and beat well, followed by the other egg and the rest of the flour along with the baking powder. Fold in the mashed bananas and then spoon the mixture into the lined tin. 3 Bake the loaf for about 1 hour. If after about 25-30 minutes in the oven, the bread is browning too much on top, cover it with foil. To check that the bread is cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of the loaf – it should come out clean. When the loaf is cooked, leave it to cool in the tin. 4 Once the loaf is almost completely cooled down, mix the butter and icing sugar in a bowl using a wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese until it is just combined and then finally stir in the peanut butter. 5 When the loaf is completely cool, remove it from the tin and place it on to a plate. Using a palette knife, spread the loaf with the peanut butter frosting and sprinkle over the peanuts to decorate, if you fancy.