Pecan Cherry Banana Bread

Saturday, 4 February 2012

So it’s quite chilly at the moment.  Actually chilly doesn’t cover it, its freeezzzzing!  If you are unlucky enough to have to commute in to London (or anywhere for that matter) like me you may have noticed people bundled up against the cold.  For me my big duffle coat, husbands gloves (thicker than girls ones) and woolly hat are mandatory cold weather wear.  Don’t even get me started on how many of you mad people go out of the house in this weather without a woolly hat.  Don’t you know you lose 25% of your body heat from the top of your head?  Don’t you want to be 25% warmer?  You may be wondering what this can have to do with banana bread.  Well not a lot... except to say that you should definitely stay in and make this banana bread.  It will make your home smell wonderful and you can enjoy the heat from the oven too.

The banana bread came together out of ingredients I needed to use up or had to hand.  Pecans, cherries and bananas...I wasn’t convinced it would work... could they (as Jamie Oliver would say) be friends?  Well it turns out they could.  Bananas are such a fantastic ingredient when it comes to making a cake moist.  Pecans are just one of my favourite nuts in the world and the dried cherries add a hint of sweetness. 

Recipe adapted from Healthy Gluten Free Eating by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney
50g (2oz) dried cherries
50g (2oz) pecans broken in to pieces
110g (4oz) butter, softened
50g (2oz) golden caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
3-4 ripe bananas
175g (6oz) brown rice flour
50g (2oz) corn flour
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
1kg 2lb loaf tin lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 180°C.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and soft.  Add the eggs one at a time stirring well.  Mash the bananas (I usually throw mine in a blender) and add to the creamed mixture.  Sift the rice flour, corn flour and baking powder together and fold into the mixture.  Stir in the pecans and cherries.
Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 ¼ and 1 ½ hours.  Test with a skewer to check the loaf is cooked.  Remove from loaf pan and place on a wire rack to cool.  Lasts about three to four days in a cake tin.