Banana bread. It’s become the lockdown cliche. I’m not sure why this should be. Do bananas ripen more quickly when constantly surrounded by a full household of increasingly bored, frustrated and ansty children/teenagers/adults? Have we all stockpiled bananas and are now desperately seeking ways to use the rapidly blackening pungent pile festering in the fruit bowl? Or are we simply all of the (completely justified) mentality that if you stick a banana in a cake it’s then ok to eat said cake for breakfast, elevensies, lunch, tea, supper and midnight snack?
Whatever the answer, banana bread brings joy and we need to find joy wherever we can right now. This recipe is joy plus added joy.. in the form of salted caramel. You can make your own very simply or get it straight from a ready made jar. Takes banana bread to a whole new level. And yes you can still eat it for breakfast.
For the Salted Caramel
1 can of condensed milk (or use ready made dulce leche, or a can of carnation caramel)
Sea salt flakes
For the Banana Bread
2 very ripe bananas
100g softened butter or coconut oil
100g soft brown sugar, or coconut sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk of your choice
For the salted caramel, put the tin of condensed milk into a large saucepan, and fill the pan with water so the can is completely submerged. Place on the heat and bring the water to boil, then turn down the heat and allow the water to simmer for 4 hours. You’ll need to regularly check the water level and top it up. Be sure not to allow the pan to boil dry or you are heading for a caramel explosion all over your kitchen!
After 4 hours, remove it from the heat, drain and allow to cool completely.
Open the can and decant the caramel into a bowl. Stir through 1/4 tsp of sea salt flakes then transfer the sauce to a sterilised glass jar. This will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks and can be used for drizzling over ice cream, adding to brownie recipes, or simply eaten by the spoonful when in need of an extreme sugar hit!Heat the oven to 180 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the remaining banana bread ingredients and mix well with a handheld mixer or wooden spoon.
Pour half the batter into the tin then dollop a fat line of salted caramel along the middle, lengthwise. (If you’ve been keeping it in the fridge you may need to gently warm it in the microwave to get it to a more saucy consistency.)
Pour in the rest of the batter into the tin then add another fat line of sauce down the middle. Take a skewer and swirl it through the sauce.Put the loaf tin into the oven and bake in the oven for around 50 minutes to 1 hour. (Check and cover with foil after half an hour if the top is browning too much)
When a skewer comes out clean the cake is done. Allow to cool in the tin, then slice and enjoy. Serve warm with custard or ice cream and an extra drizzle of sauce for a fabulous pudding.