It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). For this week, I've made Nigella Lawson's fabulous Italian Breakfast Banana Bread. I have made many banana breads through the years, and my favourite is one of Nigella's recipes, which uses golden raisins soaked in rum, which I have posted here, and have made it many times. She has another banana bread recipe in her cookbook, Nigellissima that I just got to try, especially when it has espresso in it! I love coffee!
This is a very easy and quick bread to make. In the recipe, instant espresso powder is used. What I have are instant granules, and the first time I've made this bread, some of the granules did not dissolve completely, specks of it can be seen in the bread. But the bread tasted awesome and so "coffee-ey" delicious, that I made it again. This time I dissolved the instant espresso granules in the vanilla extract with half a teaspoon of warm water, before I mashed the bananas with the vanilla-coffee extract. The bananas are very ripe and sweet, so I have reduced the sugar slightly.
This is one delicious banana bread! Nigella nails it again with this recipe. Moist, soft, full of banana flavour and that coffee taste in each bite is just delicious. Perfect with a cup of hot steaming coffee. Even though the recipes uses 4 teaspoons of the instant espresso powder, just as Nigella says "And even though I add quite a bit, the flavour doesn't overwhelm at all. It's there, but as a hint, and the subtle bitterness of the coffee undercuts, most elegantly, the creamy sweetness of the bananas".
I have made this bread three times already. Believe me, one loaf will be gone pretty quick! This is one recipe that I urge you to try, especially if you are a coffee lover!
Italian Breakfast Banana Bread
(adapted from "Nigellissima" by Nigella Lawson)
cuts into 8-10 slices
150ml flavourless vegetable oil, plus some for greasing
3 medium bananas, very ripe indeed (approx.400gm total with skin on, 300gm without)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150gm caster sugar (I use 100gm)
175gm plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 x 450gm/1lb deep loaf tin or 1 x 12-bun muffin tin
Slip a baking sheet into the ovenb, and preheat to 170C/gas mark 3. Get out a loaf tin, and line it with baking paper or a loaf tin liner, or lightly oil it.
Mash the bananas with the vanilla extract and salt and then beat in the oil.
Now, beat in the eggs, one by one, followed by the sugar.
Mix the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and esperesso powder, and beat these dry ingredients into the runny batter.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin, and pop it into the oven, on the baking sheet, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until slightly coming away at the sides and bulgingly risen. A cake tester should come out clean, barring the odd crumb. Wait for a day or at least half a day before slicing into it.
(I've used instant espresso granules, of which I've dissolved with the vanilla extract, and half a teaspoon of warm water)
I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week