Snowflakes & Banana Cake

Posted on March 6, 2016 · Posted in News

There is something about a snowy day which always sets me off baking. The flakes are coming down thick and fast, swirling in the stiff northerly breeze as I warm myself against the Aga and turn to Mary Berry.

I finally settle on making her Banana Loaf as I have a couple of extremely mature bananas in the fruit bowl. This is the recipe (taken from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible) but I added some pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds and a generous sprinkling of mixed spice. I also scattered a tablespoon of demerara sugar over the surface just before putting it into the oven to bake to give it a nice crunchy topping.

Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf

• 100g softened butter
• 175g caster sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
• 225g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 2 tbsp milk


– Preheat oven to 180c/ 160c (fan)/ Gas 4
– Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with baking parchment
– Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended
– Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface
– Bake in pre heated oven for about an hour, until well risen and golden brown
– A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready
– Leave to cool in tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack

I found that in my Aga’s baking oven, it took about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Last week we saw a stoat in the garden in a fine winter coat. It was almost completely white, with a black tip to its tail and some splashes of brown around its face. It showed up extremely well as it scampered across our green and mossy lawn but today it would have blended perfectly into the snowy white world outside.