Discover more from sweet disposition
5 minute banana & halva bread
Because a quick recipe is the best recipe
Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some insights into how I make wedding cakes around a full time job over on my Instagram and TikTok (go and watch if you haven’t already!). The way I fit it in is pretty simple.
I break a long task - 7.5 hours in this case, it transpires, not including ingredient shopping and travel time - into smaller ones. For this wedding cake, it was four chunks of time across four separate evenings and mornings in the days leading up to the wedding. Maybe one day I’ll be able to bake full time but, for now, this is how I have my cake and eat it, so to speak.
My juggle forces baking to fit in around my life, and as a result, I always lean towards quick recipes, whether that’s for wedding cakes or other baking pursuits. Sometimes - actually, often - ten minutes of hands on time is all I can really give to something, and I’d wager a lot of you share my busy little boat.
Enter, five minute banana bread. Yes, this does honestly take less than five minutes to put together. It’s all made in one bowl, and it’s also very forgiving, so you can switch up the sugar, flour and additions that you use (WITHIN REASON - don’t come for me if you try using honey instead of sugar and it doesn’t work! Although it might actually, let me come back to you once I’ve tried) to suit what you have in your cupboards.
Banana bread has near universal approval. There are very few people who don’t like it. It’s casual enough to turn up to peoples houses with. It travels. It keeps well. It really, really is a goodie and I really, really think you should make it.
Browning the butter - the one slightly fancy instruction in the below recipe - isn’t essential, but I do think it’s worth the fraction of effort. But throw it in straight from the packet if that’s your jam.
The halva - one of the baking gods purest gifts to mankind - melts and caramelises in a similar way to white chocolate, which is why i’ve suggested that as an apt substitution. But you could leave it out all together and the cake would still be excellent.
330g (this is what three medium fruit weighed when I checked during testing) very ripe bananas - like, a bit disgusting and inhumane to eat as they are
120g light brown sugar
180g spelt flour (use plain, or a mix, if you prefer)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
100g halva, or white chocolate
A little extra sugar to finish if you’re fancy
Heat your oven to 170C. Grease a 1kg loaf tin with butter or oil, and line it with a long strip of baking paper so the bottom and the two short edges are lined, with some overhang to help you lift the cake out once it’s cooled.
Place the butter in a small saucepan and set over a medium heat. Allow it to melt, then keep cooking it for 3-4 minutes until it’s foaming, and you can see little brown specks bubbling to the surface. Remove from the heat if it’s ready before you are.
Peel the bananas straight into the bowl of a mixer. Add the egg, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. Pour in the brown butter, and mix to combine.
Roughly chop the halva, then add to the bowl and mix through. I tend to save about 1/4 of it and dot that over the surface to ensure some of it stays near the top of the cake.
Scatter over a few tsp of extra sugar, if using.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until risen, very golden and a knife inserted into the centre of the cake doesn’t come out covered in batter.
Allow to cool in the tin for around an hour, then gently lift the cake out of the tin using the paper overhang. If you need to, use a knife to gentle release the sides and corners.
Cool before eating. This cake is at its absolute best for the few days following baking.