How To Be a Domestic God

It's been shamefully long since the last post - caused by a combination of lack of inspiration and laziness.
But a bit of rainy-day baking yesterday, I thought, could provide a bit of rambling.
And with a new series of the Great British Bake Off just around the corner it is timely too.
While I don't actually do it that often, I think I prefer baking to actual cooking (brownies are my speciality). I do like the way you can fling things together when cooking (within reason) - for a pasta sauce, stew or soup, and use what's to hand and leftover in the fridge, but I also like the precision of baking, the alchemy and the way it focuses your mind. I think it's more impressive too, to present a cake or meringues or whatever that looks as good as it (hopefully) tastes (not that being impressive is the point, of course...)
Speaking of leftovers in the fridge, it was with old (VERY old) bananas that I baked with recently to make a simple banana loaf - a satisfying and easy way of using them up and avoiding having to chuck them out.
Unsurprisingly the recipe I used was a Nigella one, altered, as all baking and cooking should be, to my tastes (recipe and picture below).
After I'd made the loaf, I thought I'd send a bit of a cheeky tweet to the woman herself - a photo of the loaf on top of her How To Be A Domestic Goddess book (from where the banana loaf recipe originally came) but with the 'dess' strategically cropped (feminism works both ways, right?)
And amazingly, she replied with her approval. I told you baking was impressive...

Banana bread

175g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g butter, melted
150g sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
handful of chopped nuts (I used some cashews I had lying around)
1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 2lb loaf tin (I used a non-stick one so didn't bother greasing so just put a bit of parchment on the bottom). Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and salt in a bowl and give a quick shake or whisk to mix. In another bowl, beat together the melted butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time to incorporate. Add the mashed bananas then the nuts and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a third at a time so it gets evenly combined. Scrape the mix into the loaf tin and bake for around an hour - until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, then enjoy a slice with butter and a cup of tea.


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