I've made many versions of banana bread as I'm sure you've seen many versions of banana bread in the blog world. This recipe is my very favorite. It comes from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess which is the first cookbook I ever bought for myself. I remember leaving Barnes and Noble so excited to get home and try her recipes. Like many of you, I'd rather sit up at night and read cookbooks rather than the latest bestselling novel. Although a good romance story can tear me away from the kitchen for a while.
If you don't like raisins you can omit them, but I would try it with them at least once. These are not your traditional dry chewy raisins, but plump, sweet and full of boozy warmth morsels of goodness. Hmmmm...I think I just channeled my inner Nigella with that description.
by Nigella Lawson
1/2 cup golden raisins
6 tbs. bourbon or dark rum (I used brandy because that's what I had)
1 cup plus 2 tbs. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
9 x 5 loaf pan, buttered and floured, or with paper insert
Put the golden raisins and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to a boil.
from heat, cover, and leave for an hour if you can, or until the
raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
the oven to 325 degrees and get started on the rest. Put the flour,
baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized and, using your
hands or a wooden spoon, combine well. In a large bowl, mix the melted
butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a
time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in
the walnuts, drained raisins, and vanilla extract. Add the flour
mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into
the loaf pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick should come out cleanish. Leave
in the pan on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you
Makes 8-10 slices.
What was the first cookbook you ever bought? Do you still have it?