We’re bringing you a seasonal twist on 2020s favourite bake- the banana bread!
About the recipe
Coffee banana bread puts a sassy new twist on the done-to-death version and is a great accompaniment to Pact Coffee.
- 1 shot of double espresso coffee
- 100g raisins
- 2oz (60g) chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 2 over ripe bananas (about 200-250g un-peeled weight) mashed with a fork
- 6oz (170g) unsalted butter, softened (you can do this in the microwave 10-15 seconds)
- 6oz (170g) golden caster or fine golden granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6oz (170g) self raising flour
- 1 dessertspoon very fine ground espresso coffee powder (or more if you like)
- 1 dessertspoon cocoa powder
- Demerara sugar
- Make a strong double espresso coffee and pour it straight over the measured raisins in a bowl. Leave them to soak until the coffee has gone cold and the raisins have plumped up (this could be done a day in advance for extra flavour). When you’re ready to cook, simply strain the raisins and set them aside for later.
TOP TIP: Keep the raisiny coffee liquid, which can be used afterwards to make a Banana Latte Smoothie.
- Prepare a loaf tin (measuring about 22cm x 11cm x 7cm) by lining the sides and base with a strip of baking parchment and lightly grease the two un-lined ends with butter. Heat the oven to 170c or gas mark three and position a shelf in the centre of the oven.
- Grind the chopped roasted hazelnuts fairly finely in a coffee grinder or a mini processor. Do this in short pulse bursts rather than a continuous grind, which would over-process the nuts and make them oily.
- Take a large, roomy mixing bowl and – using a handheld electric whisk – beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and creamy, this will take a few minutes. Alternatively you could use a food mixer if you have one.
- Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time, making sure the first one is properly beaten in before adding the second one (otherwise the mixture will curdle).
- Next sift in the flour, cocoa and finely ground espresso coffee powder and mix, follow this with the ground hazelnuts and finally add the mashed banana with the strained raisins. You want to mix each in just enough to incorporate everything evenly; but don’t over mix. If the mixture seems too stiff you can add a little of the raisin-soaking coffee to loosen.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Then scatter a generous sprinkling of Demerara sugar all over the surface (this will form a lovely crusty topping to the cake).
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for an hour to 1 hour 15 mins until the cake is risen, firm and brown and cooked in the centre. You can test this with a very thin bladed knife or skewer, which should come out clean when the cake is cooked.
- Remove the cake from the oven and loosen it away from the sides with a thin bladed knife before turning it out of the tin. Allow to cool on a wire rack and then slice with a serrated knife.
- Enjoy with a piping hot cup of Pact Coffee
How do you know when the banana bread is done?
Look out for a firm, browned top - and insert a skewer in the centre. If it’s clean, your coffee banana bread is done and ready to take out of the oven!
What else can I put in banana bread?
Other dried fruit can be a tasty addition to banana bread - try apricots, dates, even prunes (just make sure to cut them into small, raisin-sized pieces). Glacé cherries could also add a pop of sweetness! Fresh blueberries can work well - bringing a tasty moistness. If you’re not a fruit fan, try cocoa powder or chocolate chunks for added indulgence.
What nuts go well with banana?
Walnuts are the classic ‘add-in’ for banana bread, and work well with coffee flavours too! Hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia and pecans all work well in this sort of cake too - feel free to experiment!
Answers to baking issues
Why does my banana bread crack on top?
There’s one probable answer. The oven could be too hot - causing the top crust to set before the rest of the cake, forcing it to split open. In that case, turning the oven down slightly or covering with tinfoil could help - let it cook more slowly, for longer.
Why is my banana bread so dense?
There’s a few reasons you’ve ended up with something more solid than intended. You may have overmixed your cake batter. Doing that means more gluten develops - resulting in something bread-like in more than name alone! You could also be adding too much banana. It’s a very wet fruit, so likely to cause a damp and soggy inside to your cake.
Why does my banana bread not cook in the middle?
Annoyingly, your oven is either too hot… or not hot enough! Whether it’s not cooking enough, or cooking the outside too quickly and not reaching the middle, it’ll take some experimentation. If it’s the latter, try covering with tinfoil as well as reducing the heat and leaving in for longer
Can I rebake undercooked banana bread?
You can certainly try! Wrap in tinfoil and place in the oven, on a high heat, for around 15 minutes - then give it a try. The sliceable nature of banana bread also means it toasts nicely under the grill, so if it’s solid enough then give this a try (before topping with a liberal amount of butter!)