Banana and Date Loaf
Inhale a deep breath of air; the aroma of freshly baked Banana and Date Loaf caresses your nose and all your senses. My mouth starts to water and the memories come flooding back as if it was yesterday. I have wonderful memories of my mother baking this Banana and Date loaf. I always speculated that she secretly detested cooking for us but she loved baking. It offered her a sense of therapy and an opportunity to escape the day-to-day grind. We never let the loaf go to waste as we where like vultures waiting for it to come out of the oven. While it was still hot we would start to slice it and enjoy this incredibly delicious and fragrant creation. I normally ended up with a sore tummy; mum did say do not eat warm cake, but I never listened.
Today I did it again, started gorging on the hot loaf as soon as it came out of the oven and yes, you guessed correctly history has repeated itself all over again.
Strangely I have met quite a few people who can not stand bananas. Ross is one of those people. I did try and tempt him with my lovely creation but he was just not going to give it a go, it’s his loss not mine.
I like baking these banana and date loaves in small loaf tins as I think they make a lovely home made gift. You do not feel so guilty if you pop over to a friend with one of these beauties under your arm. Even more reason for a cuppa and a natter, works for me!
- 125g unsalted butter
- 175g dark muscavado sugar
- 2 whole free range eggs
- 280g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- tsp baking powder
- 125ml full fat milk
- 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 275g of banana pulp)
- 100g dates, chopped and stones removed
- 1tsp Dark Rum (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line 25cm x 11cm loaf tin or 4 x smaller 14cmx 10cm x 4cm loaf tins.
Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy and light in colour.
Add the eggs one at a time, cream after each addition.
In a separate bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder, add half of the sifted flour to the creamed butter mixture, gently fold the flour in. Add the Rum and the milk , fold to incorporate.
Add the mashed bananas and the chopped dates along with the rest of the sifted flour use a folding action to mix. Do not over work the cake batter.
Spoon the mixture in to the chosen loaf tins; I have used the 4 smaller ones. Bake the smaller Banana and Date loaves for 50 minutes, let them rest for 20 minutes before you turn them out, or bake the larger loaf for 60 minutes. Test the loaf with a metal skewer, if the skewer comes out clean it means it’s ready.
Makes 1 large 25cm x 11cm loaf or 4 x smaller loaves 14cm x 10cm
Food Fanatics Tips
Replace the dates with 75g of chopped walnuts or pecan nuts for added texture.