Friday 1 November 2013

FRUIT AND NUT BANANA BREAD with lemon and cream cheese icing

This being the first post on my blog I thought of starting on a sweet note. Something that you can enjoy over a cup of tea or coffee or maybe just over a pillow talk! As simple as that. Banana bread or loaf as we call it, is a very moist bread similar to a cake and is mostly enjoyed at breakfast or as a dessert.
Banana as a fruit as we all know has many useful nutrients. Kids love the  deliciousness of this moist melt in the mouth  treat that gets it's very distinct flavour due to the infusion of banana, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. And the gorgeous aroma that fills your home when baking this delight is sure to give you a test run on patience!!
In every busy household, mine is no exception this humble fruit at it's peak quite often sits in our fruit bowl eagerly waiting to be consumed, but very conveniently forgotten. So, what do you do when you have overripe bananas? Make smoothies, mash them into your kid's breakfast cereal, make a pancake, fritters or simply trash them into the waste bin? Banana Bread is a delicious treat that you can create at ease using overripe bananas.
I have used a food processor to mix my banana bread batter, this batter can be mixed very well in a bowl using a wooden spatula or you may use electric mixer whatever is available and convenient to you.
The basic recipe of this bread was given to me by one of my friend's sometime ago. However, I made a few modifications to create one of my own recipe for any time use. The ingredients mentioned in this recipe are easily available in any pantry and most importantly it is pocket friendly. 
So Go Bananas! Bake one today! 
You will need:
1-1/2 cup of Self-Raising Flour OR All Purpose Flour - sifted (I used Self-Raising)
4 Ripe Bananas
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder OR 1 teaspoon if using All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
1/2 cup combination of Mixed Nuts (I used lightly crushed walnuts, slivered almonds), raisins and sultanas
2/3 cup melted Unsalted Butter
1 teaspoon of butter for greasing
3/4 cup of Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
1 tablespoon Honey.
Step 1: Peel the bananas and remove fibres. Mash them in a blender until smooth.
Step 2: In your food processor add the mashed bananas and egg. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and add them one at a time. beat them well after each addition.
Step 3: Now combine sugar, vanilla essence, melted butter  and whisk on high speed for 1 minute. For those of you whisking manually, you will need to give it a vigorous whisk. But don't go crazy on it! Just a quick whisk should do. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
Step 4: Now dry mix thoroughly the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
Step 5: With a spatula fold in the flour-baking powder into the banana-egg mixture. To "fold in" means to mix ingredients in batches gently and evenly to form a smooth batter.
Step 6 : Add mixed nuts and combine well.
Step 7 : Grease a loaf pan. I used a silicon loaf pan and greased my pan with a little butter. The bread batter should not be runny but of pouring consistency.
Step 8:  Bake at 1800C  for about an hour.


Step 9: Allow to cool. Store the cooled banana bread in an airtight container or cover with cling film and pop it in the fridge.
Banana breads do not require any icing and yet tastes great on it's own. You may slightly toast and serve with a little butter on top. However I added a lemon cream cheese icing to my banana bread not only to add to the deliciousness but also to add to  the beauty element of it.  Yummm!! There is no butter in the icing so you can enjoy guiltfree.
For Icing you will need: 
200 grams of Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
4-5 tablespoon of Caster Sugar

Mix all ingredients well to form a light and creamy mixture. Remove cling wrap  and spread the icing mixture evenly on top of the bread. In order to get a smoother finish I used a butter knife dipped in very hot water. Run the knife  dipped in hot water around the edges and the surface to clear out any uneven layer of icing. Repeat until smooth.
Pop it in the fridge for the icing to set. Slice and serve.

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With Care...
EAT as you LIKE...

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