Baking, Something sweet

Banana and date loaf

When I posted my Courgette and Marmalade Tea Cake the other day my friend Tracy asked me to post this banana and date loaf which I’d given her a slice of about a year ago. This is a really easy cake to make which is incredibly moist, light and fluffy. It’s a great way to use up ripe bananas, which we get a lot of here in Thailand. You can either use cinnamon or fresh ginger in this cake, both versions are good. There used to be a vegetarian café in Chiang Mai called Compassion Café that had a great dessert which was a banana bread sandwich – two pieces of banana bread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle covered with caramel sauce. I think this banana and date loaf would work perfectly if you want a more decadent treat!

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So what do you need?

  • 4-5 ripe bananas
  • 150 grams of dates (or sultanas if you prefer)
  • 120 mls vegetable oil
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • 60 grams of soft brown sugar (plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tsps. of freshly ground cinnamon or 50g of grated fresh ginger
  • 250 grams of plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 tsps. of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

So what do you do?

Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then put all the ingredients, apart from the flour and baking powder, into a food processor – the bananas, the eggs, oil, sugar, most of the cinnamon, or all the ginger, the dates (after removing the stones) and the yoghurt – and blend them together. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this in a bowl first mushing the bananas and finely chopping the dates.

P1010944Next add the flour and baking powder and blend together again. You need to grease and line (with baking parchment) a loaf tin (mine’s 29cms x 10cms). I use any remaining drips of oil in my measuring jug to grease the tin. In a small bowl mix the remaining cinnamon (about 1/2 a tsp.), a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of sesame seeds and sprinkle this over the top of the mixture, drizzle with honey…

Then put it on a low shelf in the oven and bake for about an hour, until a cake tester / skewer comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 mins and cover with foil if it is browning too quickly on the top. Allow the cake to cool in the loaf tin for about 10 mins then lift it out using the baking parchment and put it on a rack to cool. Enjoy with a cup of tea, or with ice-cream and caramel sauce!

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