We all have over ripe bananas in the fruit bowl don't we? Well I always seem to have a couple left over at the end of the week, my family are so fussy they like them just the right shade of yellow with a touch of green so in this warm weather they soon end up being a little too ripe for their taste. Hence this banana loaf was born.
I know everyone has a favourite banana loaf recipe and this is now mine. I've added some peanut butter powder which I found in the supermarket, I think its meant to be a drink but I found it works perfectly in a cake and a frosting. If you don't like peanuts or you cant eat them just leave it out and add a little extra flour to the cake.
It really is worth making your own caramel. There will be plenty left over so pop it in a jar and store it in the fridge, its delicious drizzled over ice cream or just spooned straight from the jar into your mouth, at least that's what I do and I don't care if I'm judged for it, it is irresistible!
Banana, Peanut and Caramel Loaf
Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Serves: 8 – 10
For the caramel: (this makes more than you need, store remainder in a jar in the fridge. You can use some dulce leche or a tin of Carnation caramel if you don’t want to make your own)
For the cake: this makes 1 x 2lb loaf tin, ( If you have more bananas make two and freeze one un-iced)
125g Salted butter - softened
100g Caster Sugar
125g Very ripe Banana (peeled weight)
2 large eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
125g Self raising flour
½ tsp Baking powder
15g Peanut butter powder (you can find this in most supermarkets, if you can’t find it simply replace with more flour)
For the topping:
150g Butter (salted or unsalted) - softened
2-3 tablespoons of caramel
2 tbs Peanut butter powder (You could use peanut butter or leave out completely)
Peanut brittle, crushed (optional)
The caramel: I keep a jar in the fridge so it is at hand, it is delicious so I warn you that you will find yourself heading to the fridge with a spoon!
Place all the ingredients for the caramel into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat so that the mixture bubbles, stir constantly. It will take about 5 -10 minutes for the mixture to thicken so that it will coat the back of a spoon and if you run another spoon down the centre of it the gap will not close up. (Hope that makes sense)
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a jar.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 160C
Beat together the sugar and the butter until combined then add the banana and beat for a couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the cake ingredients and beat until completely combined. No need to overbeat.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Set aside to cool completely in the tin.
For the frosting:
Beat the softened butter with the caramel and the peanut butter powder. Taste and see if it needs more caramel or peanut.
Add some icing sugar until the mixture is sweet enough and you have a good consistency. I don’t like my frosting too sweet but you need some sugar to firm everything up.
Spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with some crushed peanut brittle if using and drizzle with a little warmed caramel.
NOTE: You can make your own peanut brittle by gently heating some caster sugar in a saucepan until it has dissolved, increase the heat slowly and simmer until a caramel colour. Stir in some peanuts and immediately pour onto a silicon sheet or a baking tray lined with non-stick paper. Leave to cool and then crush with a rolling pin. What you don’t use can be stored in an airtight container. I will leave the quantities to you but suggest you start with 100g of sugar and a handful of nuts.