Banana Loaf with Granola Topping
The mixing bowl is the perfect resting place for black, mushy, overly-ripe bananas: they redeem themselves in a cake.
A friend of mine fed me this cake. It was a weightwatchers recipe. Of course, this meant that you could eat ALL of it without feeling any ounce of guilt. I was hooked by the cinnamon granola topping and the cake's wholemeal goodness. I've since wondered about transferring its cinnamon granola goodness to other recipes, like an apple cake.
The first time I made the banana loaf, I stuck to the original recipe and used one banana, 1tbsp runny honey and margarine. The result was on the dry and unsatisfying side. The kind of cake that needs a cuppa. So, I made a few variations to it. This version may just scrape through into the weightwatchers recipe book, that is if you replace the butter with margarine. (I ended up using butter because I finished off the margarine on the previous attempt. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm...)
Since baking Nigella's Clementine Cake and brownies, I've learnt that some cakes are best left a day or so in order to allow the flavours to mature. I guess this cake could be eaten warm out of the oven, but the flavours really came out when I left it for a day.
This variation on a Weightwatchers Banana Loaf with Granola Topping recipe will make one banana loaf using a 2lb loaf tin.
125g butter (or margarine if you'd like a lower fat version)
15g chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (I'd run out of hazelnuts)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line the tin with baking paper.
- Make the granola topping first - combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and leave it to one side.
- Whisk the butter and sugar together in a bowl until soft and fluffy (I discovered that an electric whisk makes this process much, much easier.) Then gradually add in the beaten eggs.
- Mix the mashed bananas and the honey together and then add them to the butter, sugar, egg mixture. On my first attempt, I was slightly concerned about the appearance of the resulting mixture. The mixture didn't want to combine into a smooth mush. My second attempt had the same result, so I'm thinking that this look is normal.
- Slowly add in the flour to the mixture and mix it until it achieves a 'soft, dropping consistency'. It's a phrase that I picked up from my lemon drizzle cake recipe and perfectly describes how the mixture should drop off the spoon. I added a wee splash of milk at this point to reach this consistency.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the tin, brush the top with milk to help stick the granola topping to the cake (good tip, Lucy!) then evenly sprinkle the granola mixture on top. The recipe suggested making a small furrow down the middle of the mixture. Is the result is a more even loaf?
- Bake for 50mins in the middle of the oven, until the skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from its tin and move it to a wire rack to cool.
Not a dry crumb at the end! Enjoy.