Tag: baking

Spiced Banana Bread

Spiced Banana Bread

I love banana bread but find that some are a little sweet for my tastes, so I have developed this recipe through a bit of trial and error.  It is still undeniably banana flavoured, but the addition of black treacle and a little spice creates a slightly more complex, interesting flavour.  I would argue that this recipe is a bit more grown-up but my two year old goes mental for it so what do I know? Still, it is dead simple, has very little hands-on time and is a great way to use up a couple of bananas that are past their best.


  • You can make this recipe with self-raising flour (I don’t tend to bother buying it anymore after reading a post on Nigella.com on the subject which you can see here). Simply use the same quantity of flour but only one tsp of baking powder.
  • Stand the spoon you are going to use to measure the black treacle in boiling water for a minute or two before using it.  The treacle will come off the spoon much more easily.
  • If you want to step things up from tasty tea-time treat to an indulgent dessert, try toasting thick slices of banana bread until the edges start to colour, then top with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. It is honestly far greater than the sum of its (already pretty awesome) parts!

Spiced Banana Bread


100g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the loaf tin

175g  soft light brown sugar

2 medium eggs

1tbsp black treacle

2 overripe bananas (200g approx.)

2tbsp milk

1tsp vanilla extract

225g plain flour

3tsp baking powder

1tsp ground ginger

1tsp ground cinnamon


You will also need:

1 loaf tin 17x9cm (approx.)



  1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan. Grease the loaf tin generously.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each one is completely combined with the butter and sugar. Add the black treacle to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, place the bananas, milk, and vanilla extract, and mash together until they form a fairly smooth puree. Don’t worry if there are a few small lumps. Add this mixture to the butter, sugar and eggs and stir to combine.  The mixture will almost certainly curdle at this point but this is normal. Don’t panic.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon and sieve into the wet ingredients. Stir until all the flour is combined. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and give it a little shake to level the mixture out.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin, before running a knife around the edges of the tin and turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.

Eat as soon as it is cool enough to do so.  Wrapped tightly in tinfoil and stored in a sealed container the banana bread will keep for a couple of days, if it lasts that long…

Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

I spotted a bag of peanut butter chips while doing my weekly shop the other day. As Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are among my favourite chocolate treats,  I couldn’t resist grabbing them. Although I’m sure they could be used to make a variety of treats, I immediately decided to use them to make cookies.  Below is the recipe I came up with. It produces thick, soft cookies with crisp, crunchy edges and a lovely balance of bitter cocoa, sweet milk chocolate and salty peanut butter.


  • The uncooked cookie mixture will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and can be sliced into cookies when you are ready to bake them. If you want to store it for longer, slice into pieces and freeze with a layer of grease-proof paper between each slice.  These can then be baked from frozen; just add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time.

Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 16-20 cookies


225g  softened, unsalted butter

125g  caster sugar

1 medium egg

1tsp Vanilla Extract

225g Plain Flour

50g Cocoa Powder

100g Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

75g Milk Chocolate Chips



  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until the sugar is no longer grainy.Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix thoroughly then sieve the flour and cocoa into the bowl and mix until completely combined.
  2. Add the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips to the rest of the mixture. Knead briefly by hand to ensure the chips are evenly distributed through the mixture.
  3. Place a couple of sheets of cling film onto the work surface. Shape the mixture into a sausage approximately 2 inches in diameter and then roll up in the cling film. Place the mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
  4. Heat the oven to 170C Fan.
  5. Slice the cookie mixture into pieces approximately 1cm thick pieces (each cookie will be roughly 45-50g) and place each slice on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Leave plenty of room between each cookie as they will spread while baking.
  6. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies while they are cooking as a minute or two will make all the difference between soft or crunchy cookies. They are ready when the tops have formed a cracked crust but the cookie itself is still soft and squidgy.
  7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet to cool for ten minutes.
  8. Eat with a glass of gold-top milk (or a White Russian). If you must, store in an airtight container for a day or two.