Banana, walnut & chocolate chip loaf

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Well 2013 is nearly at an end. I would like to wish all my readers a very happy new year. 2013 was the year I started writing this blog and I have really enjoyed recording all my baking adventures. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I was very lucky to receive a personalised ‘Little Birdie Baking Blog’ apron from my brother and sister-in-law (thanks Ian and Steph!) as one of my presents. It has already been used to make today’s post!

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Christmas is a time to catch up with family. Yesterday we went to a gathering of Mr Birdie’s family and I of course offered to take a cake along. As usual I had some bananas that were beyond their best so decided to make a banana loaf. Now usually I would opt for my Wholewheat Banana Nut Loaf, which I have featured before but decided I would try something new. After some research I found this Paul Hollywood recipe on the BBC Good Food website. The beauty of this recipe is that it only requires one bowl. Apologies for the photos – I was at home at Devon and only had my mobile phone to take the photos with.

Ingredients:

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4 ripe bananas (peeled)
250g caster sugar (I used golden)
2 eggs
140g butter (softened)
2 teaspoons baking powder
100g walnut pieces
100g chocolate chips

Method:
1) Heat oven 190C/170C (Fan)/Gas 5. Line a 900g/2lb load tin with baking parchment.
2) In a large bowl, mash together the bananas and the sugar with the back of a fork.

3) Add the eggs and mix well with an electric hand whisk until fully incorporated, then add the butter for a couple of minutes more to blend everything together (it won’t completely blend together but don’t worry – it will be fine).

4) Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold together with a spatula.

5) Then add the walnuts and chocolate chips (I used chunks of chocolate instead as I had a spare bar). Give everything a final mix before tipping into the lined loaf tin.

6) Bake for 1 hour & 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (I personally think Paul is being a little bit ambitious here. Mine took at least 1 1/2 hours! I covered mine over with foil towards the end as I didn’t want it to catch too much. What I didn’t realise was because I was using my Dad’s gas oven instead of my electric one at home is that I should have turned it around so it was browner on one side than the other – oops!)
7) Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out and serve cut into thick slices. Any uneaten cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

8) Enjoy!

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