There is something very satisfying and comforting about the smell and taste of banana bread baking. Add some chocolate and it just gets better. For a family which always seems to have a few over-ripe bananas sitting in the bowl, this is always a good bake. It isn’t fancy but with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea, it’s just about right for elevenses or for that fill-me-up when the girls get home from school.
100g sugar plus a tablespoon for sprinkling
1 lemon, zest and half juice
1 tsp mixed spice
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
350g ripe bananas plus one sliced to decorate the top
100g pecan nuts chopped
100g dark chocolate chopped into chunks
Preheat the over to 180C. Grease a large (900ml) loaf tin or two half that size and line with baking parchment. Blend all the ingredients – apart from the extra sugar, sliced banana and pecans – in a food processor until evenly mixed. Stir through most of the nuts and chocloate reserving a handful each.
Spoon the batterinto the tin(s) and scatter over the remaining nuts and banana, genty pressing into the mix. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar on top.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it looks like it might burn. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool.