Going back to work after 4 days off for Easter was hard. I spent the whole weekend eating Creme Egg Brownies and watching TV. I have really struggled to get out of bed the last couple of mornings, Luna makes it harder as when she realises I'm waking up, she will sit herself on my chest purring in my face!
I am really looking forward to this weekend for two reasons. The first; my sister has been in Japan for the last couple of weeks on holiday. I'm picking her up from the airport on Friday night and I am SO excited to see her. She is my best friend so I find it strange when she isn't around. And the second reason; two of mine and Mark's favourite people - Emmie and Rich - are coming over to our house for Mexican Food on Saturday. Mexican is mine and Mark's favourite food to eat and to make for other people. I would say we're pretty darn good at it (both eating and making it!)
I love banana in cake and desserts. I'm not fussed about eating banana on it's own, but put it in a cake or a pie and I love it. I decided to make a banana loaf as I had a couple going brown in the kitchen and thought it'd go well with Maple and Pecan. Dot Com Gift Shop very kindly provided the adorable loaf cases I used. They are really sturdy allowing the cake to keep a good shape, and the pattern is so pretty! If you fancy getting some loaf cases yourself you can find them here. There are also some larger ones here.
This recipe will make a large loaf, if you are using small loaf cases like I did, it will make 3-4 small loaves. The recipe is adapted from my Mum's banana bread. It doesn't use any sugar as I think there is enough from adding the maple syrup.
120g unsalted butter
150ml maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large organic free range egg
3 large ripe bananas
240g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g pecans, roughly chopped
For the topping
20g pecans, roughly chopped
Drizzle of maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. If using a large loaf tin, grease and set aside.
2. Melt the butter and set aside for a few minutes. When the butter has cooled slightly, pour into a bowl and mix in the maple syrup and vanilla. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl then mix into the wet ingredients along with the milk.
3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chopped pecans.
4. Pour the batter into your loaf tin (or cases!) and then sprinkle with the extra chopped pecans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the top of the loaf is golden brown. If you use the loaf cases like I did, bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once cooled, drizzle some maple on the top of the loaf and serve.