While the original recipe called for the very tiny and sweet Pisang Rastali or Musa acuminata x balbisiana Colla (AAB Group), I used instead a larger variety known as the Cavendish banana – a widely exported variety in these parts of the world. Yes, the Rastali variety would have been a better choice given the difference of my bread and those commonly made with this variety.
The Cavendish variety gave me a very yellowy and clear texture compared to the typical dark and dotty texture of a banana bread. I can only conclude that my banana was not “ripe” enough for the cake even though on the outside, it looked as if it was going to start growing some penicillin. Either that or I pureed it instead of mashing it!
In terms of density, my bread is ultra dense because of some changes to the recipe – I used more bananas (which means more fluid) and I switched to teaspoons of baking powder instead of tablespoons of baking soda. Talk about being blind. Never attempt to bake when you’ve just gotten up from an afternoon nap! It turned out surprisingly nice – if you like very dense cakes (like Nil) – but still, this is an excuse to try this recipe out again!!!! 🙂
Taste-wise, I reduced the amount of sugar by 10 gms and came up with a bread that is just nice – my tastebuds have changed since I got pregnant (items that were once “just nice” on the sweet scale are not too sweet for my liking!). Add that with the crunch of almonds and the chewy melting natural goodness of raisins and you get a bread that is just divine for any time of the day, be it breakfast, lunch (!), or tea…even dessert, if you heat it up and serve it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. But I like mine just the way it is – on its own.
Now, excuse me while I go look at some small business opportunities!
Banana bread with almonds and raisins
400 gms over-ripe bananas
240 gms castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
100ml olive oil
350 gms flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
Two handfuls of chopped almonds
Two handfuls of raisins
- Sift and combine the flour and baking soda before placing aside. Mix the salt in with the milk and place aside as well.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease the sides and line the base of a pan before dusting lightly with flour.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add castor sugar and mix well until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Drip in the milk slowly and then stop the machine and scape the bowl. Drip in the olive oil and blend well.
- Fold in the flour in batches and mix well to get a smooth batter. Do not overbeat though. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 160 C and bake for another further 60 minutes or until the bread is done when tested with a skewer.