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Blushing Berry Banana Bread, 17p [VG/V/DF]

 My original banana bread recipe is very very popular; barely a weekend goes by without someone posting a photo of it on social media, so I hope its enthusiastic fans enjoy this twist on a classic. Enjoy it warm to have it at its best; the tart explosions of hot, juicy berries popping in your mouth, drenching the cakey crumbs, is sensational. And in case that sounds too much like a brag, the ‘sensational’ was a direct quote from my friend Caroline, who also had a piece straight from the oven and was atypically rendered temporarily speechless by it. The best use of a couple of black bananas I can think of. The berries can be fresh instead of frozen if you have that kind of thing kicking about, but I tend to keep cheap frozen berries in the freezer for quickie desserts, morning smoothies and regrettable snacks.

 

Serves 6 generously at 17p each. Prices at Asda and correct at time of publication.

 

2 large bananas, 30p (15p each, Asda)

100ml oil, 10p (£1.09/1l, Asda)

50g sugar, 3p (64p/1kg, Asda)

225g self raising flour, 7p (45p/1.5kg, Smart Price at Asda)

1 tsp baking powder, 2p (69p/170g, baking powder at Asda)

100g mixed frozen berries, 50p (£1.75/350g, Asda)

6 tbsp water

 

First grab a standard sized loaf tin, and lightly grease it with a finger or two of oil. I say this as I literally dip a (clean!) finger in the oil and work it into the edges and corners of the tin, but you may wish to use a more traditional measurement, such as a teaspoon. Either way, lightly oil your loaf tin, to stop the cake from sticking to it when it cooks.

Set it to one side, and turn your oven on to 180C to preheat. Grab a mixing bowl. Peel your bananas and roughly chop them into the bowl with the side of a fork, then mash them gently. Add a little of the oil, mash some more, and repeat until you have a frankly horrid looking mess of gloppy banana pieces swimming in a sea of pale yellowish vegetable oil. It gets better, I promise.

 

Stir in the sugar, and then the baking powder, and then add half the flour and mix well. Fold in the berries; the more vigorously you mix them, the more pink your cake mixture will become, but unfortunately the colour does not hold well when cooked, so it is merely a temporary treat for your eyes. Add the water and mix, and then the remaining flour and – you guessed it – mix well. Scrape every last drop of the cake batter into the loaf tin, and pop it into the oven for an hour.

When it is cooked, a clean knife or skewer inserted into the fattest part of the centre should come out clean. If it is still a little tacky, pop it back in the oven for 10 minutes; not all loaf tins were created equal, and nor were ovens, so the temperament of yours may be a little different to mine.

When it is truly done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before attempting to remove it. I couldn’t resist, and had mine warm fresh from the oven once the magic ten minutes had passed. Can be enjoyed warm, cold, from the fridge, toasted, with butter, cream, ice cream, custard or just with your hands.

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