Or should that be a cakey bread? This was a lovely little loaf that I put together over the weekend, inspired by this recipe but making a few little adjustments here and there to it.
The result is definitely more of a cake than a bread, with the syrupy oranges adding an amazing sweetness and the cardamom giving it an intriguingly subtle spiciness. It was also wonderously simple to put together so maybe keep it in mind the next time you have a few sad looking bananas lying around the fruit bowl. Definitely a fabulous way for a banana to go.
As I said, I made a few little changes to the original recipe, using pecans instead of walnuts, leaving out the vanilla extract and using the leftover orange syrup as a sauce to drizzle over the finished product.
What you need for a Banana and Orange Cardamom Cakey Bread Loaf
100g caster sugar
120g of butter
200g light muscovado sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 free-range eggs
260g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 ripe peeled bananas
Slice one of the oranges and put the slices into a saucepan. Add the caster sugar and 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for about 10 minutes until the orange rind is cooked and softening and the sugar has turned into a syrup. Leave to cool and then drain, setting the orange slices aside.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter a 900g loaf tin. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy, and then grate in the zest of the second orange. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them. Add them to the mix. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in half of the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt and beat again. Mix in the milk and finally the remaining flour.
In a bowl, use a fork to mash the three bananas. Stir the bananas into the cake mix. Chop the pecans roughly and add them into the cake mix, and now tip the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth out the top. Place the syruped oranged slices on top of the cake, overlapping a bit.
Now bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean and not sticky. For the last 40 minutes of baking, loosely cover the cake so that the oranges slices don’t get burned.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about half an hour before you remove it. Leave it on a wire rack until it has cooled completely.
Remember that lovely orange syrup? Serve the cake in slices with a slathering of the syrup poured over the top. Major noms!
You can have a listen to my show, Right Click Radio, from last week on RTÉ 2XM, if you fancy!