nigella’s banana bread

I had another baby in January and have only just surfaced from the newborn fog to find a couple of dozen photos on my camera of things I’ve been cooking but haven’t got around to blogging. I’m feeling enthused today after some frantic and inspiring twittering to start getting some of them up here … let’s see how long my boys sleep for.

Now that I have two beautiful boys to interrupt long blissful nights of sleep, I often gaze wistfully at the booze shelf wondering what it would be like to get rollicking drunk again.

It’s been almost four years now, what with pregnancy, breastfeeding and a general fear of the hangover. So any recipe with booze in it is an instant winner and, lucky for me, as my toddler and I flicked through Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess seeking inspiration, he clapped his eyes on her banana bread, complete with rum soaked sultanas.

Isn’t he just the perfect child?


100g sultanas
75ml rum (or bourbon)
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter
150g sugar
2 large eggs
300g ish of very ripe bananas (which was 2 big ones for me), mashed
60g chopped nuts (Nigella says walnuts, but I’ve got a big jar of mixed raw nuts in the fridge so my 60g was a mix of cashews, almonds, macadamias and walnuts.)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Nigella’s method is a little different from mine, so if you’re a purist you’ll have to refer to her book.

Put the sultanas, rum and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted and the sultanas start to swell up. Take off the heat and leave to cool while the sultanas suck up more of the sexy rummy butter. Taste one of those fat little sultana because they are delicious, but try not to eat them all.

In a large bowl mash together the bananas and sugar. Not sure what the chemical reaction is here (anyone?), but for some reason when you mix bananas and sugar together the bananas go really mushy mushy, which is especially good if you’re making do with not-quite very ripe ones.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract and the cooled sultana/butter/rum mixture. (Nigella melts her butter separately and drains off any excess rum, which seems very unlike her.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together and then pour into the wet mix, mixing well. Add the roughly chopped nuts and stir through, then scrape it all into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for around an hour at 170 celsius.

Anyone got any other innocent-but-boozey recipes?


About Louise

Melbourne based journalist/interactive producer who loves to cook .. and eat.
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One Response to nigella’s banana bread

  1. susan lane says:

    i gave it excellent because jst by the ingredients, i would know they taste good. i like sultanas and rhum. i have just written down in my cooknotes how to do it.thank you for good recipes like that. worth keeping for future reference and for eating! more power.

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