Rosie Makes: Banana, Chocolate & Cardamom Loaf

A seasonal take on a baking classic.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

As autumn slips into winter, there’s no bigger treat than delicious home baking. This is a wee seasonal twist on everyone’s favourite: banana bread. The recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Fruit Every Day (which I would definitely recommend to fruit lovers); with its comforting cardamom spice and rich hit of chocolate it makes for a wholesome but luxurious autumnal treat. To make one loaf (8-10 slices, but I think it stretches to a few more) you’ll need:

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

100 ml sunflower, rapeseed or coconut oil, with extra for greasing (I used sunflower)
About 12 cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
175g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium free-range eggs
300g peeled ripe banana flesh (approx 3 medium sized bananas – use very ripe ones for the best result, a great way to use fruit that’s past its best)
75g plain wholemilk yoghurt
200g light brown plain flour or spelt flour (I used brown)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate, chopped (I’m not a huge fan so used milk instead)
2 tbsps demerara sugar, or extra soft brown sugar to finish (I used demerara)

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4 (I have a fan oven so turned it down 10 degrees). Grease and line a 1 kg loaf tin (approx 11 x 22 cm).

2) Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them using a pestle and mortar.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

The result should be a coarse powder like this:

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

3) Measure the sugar into a large bowl. Add the oil and the vanilla extract.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Combine the sugar and wet ingredients, then add the eggs.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Beat together until smooth – it should look something like this:

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

4) Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, then add the yoghurt.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Next add the ground cardamom, mixing well.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Stir the banana thoroughly into the oil and egg mixture.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

5) Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt over the mixture.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Add half of the chopped chocolate and fold together lightly but thoroughly.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

The result should be a smooth mixture like so:

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

6) Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the surface of the mixture, followed by a liberal sprinkling of demerara sugar.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Leave to cool in the tin for at least ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

So there you go! Perfectly comforting with a cuppa on a late autumn afternoon.

Banana, chocolate and cardamom loaf

What are your favourite colder weather comfort bakes ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.