It’s a combination that goes together like hats and gloves, or pink wine and sunshine. Coffee and banana bread. One just makes the other that little bit nicer.
It’s about having something warm in both hands.
It’s the way that the bitterness of the coffee plays with the sweetness of the sticky sweet over ripe bananas. And the synchronicity of both benefiting from a touch of dairy fat. Both are friendlier after a slug of milk in the coffee and a smear of butter on the banana bread. It’s exactly what you need at about 10 am on a grim morning.
I’ve long maintained that multitasking can make the world better. The Hungry One, disagrees in a sturdy, masculine kind of way. He thinks that’s how mistakes get made. Yet I only make to the other side of doing the monthly finances by putting special hand cream on my feet and wearing thick socks while I plod away, entering expenses. That way, something painful still feels indulgent.
A trip to the gym is made possible only by listening to carefully curated playlists (and yes, the sound of Florence and the Machine singing ‘run faster for your…’ does actually make me run faster. I know I have to work for my cake).
When it comes to a shot of coffee in your banana bread- this is one of those incidents of multitasking that makes a good thing, even better. The coffee tempers the sweetness but adds a note of caramel. The milk helps keep the bread moist and cake-like (because really, let’s not kid ourselves, this is cake, even if we eat it in the morning). And, that extra dash of caffeine just might add a little bit of extra spring in your step. I now present to you the multitasking coffee-banana bread combination; making your cake work harder for you.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, with extra for greasing
1 cup caster sugar
2 free-range egg
4 banana, mashed
⅓ cup espresso topped with milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl use a hand mixer to combine the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and duckling yellow.
- Add the eggs, mashed bananas and coffee and to the butter and sugar mixture and stir well. Fold in the flour mixture. Do this gently- you don’t want to overwork the flour and have it turn out tough.
- Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
- Serve with a coffee on the side. Perhaps some ricotta, or butter over the top.
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