It’s taken me quite a few attempts to get the consistency and flavour right, but I have finally grasped it! One of the main issues I had, which to be honest has been a problem across all of my baking, is that the butter here in Italy just doesn’t compare to British butter. The stuff you find in supermarkets is white rather than yellow and has this rancid smell to it. As a result, every time I was making my banana bread, I always suffered when creaming the butter and sugar as there was this horrid smell which always made me think that the butter had gone off or something. Thankfully I have discovered a butter that pretty much matches British butter and that is Burro Superiore Fratelli Brazzale!
This butter makes me feel like I’m home, it’s creamy, spreadable, and has that yellow colour we all know and love back in the UK. When it comes to making cakes, now when I cream the butter with the sugar, I no longer have to deal with the rancid smell and instead enjoy the delightful smell of fresh butter. As a result, my cakes taste exactly how they should taste and I’m over the moon as about it. So if you’re based in Italy, or if you see it sold anywhere, I recommend you buy it and try it for yourself, make this banana bread or even if it’s just simply try it on toast. You won’t regret it and you’ll certainly be thanking me later!
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 50-60 minutes Total time: 65-75 minutes
Ingredients 100g Walnuts 260g Plain flour, sifted 1 Tsp Bicarbonate soda 1/4 Tsp Salt 110g Unsalted butter, softened 240g Golden caster sugar 2 Eggs, room temperature 1/4 Cup Whole milk, room temperature 1 Tsp Vanilla extract 4 Medium bananas, very ripe
Preheat the oven to 180℃ / 160℃ Fan, grease and line a 30x10cm / 12x4in loaf tin. In a small bowl, mash 3 bananas until almost smooth – you can leave some lumps if you prefer. Set aside.
Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – around 3-5 minutes, scrapping down the sides to ensure the sugar dissolves.
Add the eggs and vanilla, whisk until well combined. Pour in the milk and mashed bananas and whisk again until just combined.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and slowly fold using a spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid over mixing and stop just before the flour is fully combined. Roughly chop the roasted walnuts, add to the mix and fold again to fully combine.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin, smooth the top. Peel and cut the last banana length ways and place on top, carefully pushing it into the batter so the cut side faces up.
Bake for 50 minutes and check if it’s cooked through. If it is still wet in the middle (especially close to the bananas), bake in 5 minute intervals until it is just cooked. Remove and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. You will find that the middle will cook through and won’t be soggy once cooled.
Keep in an airtight container or wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also slice it up and freeze it if desired.