In case you didn’t know, I’m on a mission to uncover and discover the best recipes for classic baked foods that I love. This is obviously completely subjective, and I am the only judge here, but I know what I like from a lifetime of baking, an intense passion for baked goodies, and a love of bakeries. I am also extremely fussy, worked in the baking industry for nine years and ran my own home baking business for two, so got up close and really personal with this side of the culinary spectrum.
I bake a lot and I hunt recipes on an ongoing and relentless basis. If I overhear in a conversation someone referring to the ‘best cheesecake’ they have ever eaten, or their gran makes the ‘best shortbread’ etc, I will try in any way to unearth and get the recipe handed over. Over the years I have gathered quite a few of these classics, and often find that they are way better than many you will find written by famous celebrity cook book writers.
I bake these recipes, I tweak these recipes, I add things to them that I think are important or leave them exactly as they are, and hopefully get to the place where I can rest my spatula and feel assured that I have discovered the best version of its kind.
This is a very much a ‘work in progress’ project and I have a way to go still. A few are really good but haven’t quite reached THE Keeper spot.
A few of the ‘best of the best’ that I have found:
- white chocolate, cranberry and pecan nut cookie
- my grandmother betty’s crunchies
- the best chocolate chip cookies on the internet
- ultimate chocolate cake
This banana, cranberry and walnut bread is definitely one of those recipes and is so easy to whip up. The only change I would make is to possibly add another banana if I wanted to get more soft textural bits and intense banana flavour. Otherwise its pretty perfect as it is.
What you will need to make one loaf:
- 1/4 cup (55gm) butter (soft and at room temp)
- 1 cup (200gm) sugar
- 2 eggs (large)
- 3 – 4 big bananas roughly smashed (you could smash half and slice half)
- 3/4 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup (200gm) flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pre heat the oven to 180C or 350 F
- butter or line a 22 x 12cm loaf tin with baking paper (I always prefer to line my baking tins)
- cream butter and sugar until fluffy and then add the eggs one at a time allowing to be fully mixed before adding the next one
- add the vanilla, banana, walnuts and cranberries and mix briefly
- sift all the dry ingredients and mix to just combine (very quickly)
- spread into the loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes until a knife comes out clean (if its a deep pan you may need to bake for a bit longer)
I fell in love with this banana bread, and its best served slightly warm out the oven, with lashings of salty butter melting in.