Chocolate, cherry and coconut banana loaf

When I started writing this blog, I made it my intention to only post recipes that I truly loved, the keepers, the ones which are 100% worth making again.  For those who read my blog regularly, you’ll know I’ve not been cooking or baking much lately, and the few things I have managed to squeeze in really haven’t been worth reporting back about. I could tell you about the cake I made today, though, which was so full of sugar all I wanted to do after my average-sized-slice-that-I-couldn’t-even-finish was lie down down in a dark room clenching my stomach and moaning and desperately wishing that sugar-rush induced dizziness would soon be over. Also, this cake is HUGE! I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with the rest of this ginormous cake, which, to eat, almost verges on a mild form of self torture…it’s thoroughly depressing.

The banana cake I made this week, however, was far from depressing. IMG_0952

I’ve tried countless banana cakes, the last few of which have been nothing more than mediocre, causing me to forget how much I really do love banana cake.

But sampling my first slice of this cake was a full blown ‘yes’ moment, a full blown ‘yes, I just made a banana loaf and it’s absolutely fantastic’ moment. It made me happy. I treasure recipes that make me happy like that.

I was separated from my DSLR when I made this cake, so picture quality isn't the greatest!

I was separated from my DSLR when I made this cake, so picture quality isn’t the greatest!

Now this banana loaf has a fair amount going on. I started with a Nigella recipe for a cherry and coconut banana loaf, yet instantly felt one ingredient was missing, one ingredient that I feel is the perfect partner for cherries, and coconut, and banana, and, well, cake…and that was chocolate…So in to the mix went one delicious (I know this because I ate a considerable amount in the process of chopping it)  bar of  dark chocolate.

It was a thoroughly well judged move. Chocolate is very much at home in this cake. I was less sure about the idea of dried cherries, but they work, swelling up in the cake to provide bursts of slightly sour squidgyness.DSCF0012

I found this loaf to be slightly better on the second day, once things had settled a little, allowing the flavour and texture of the coconut to shine through more. The cake did dry out a little faster than most banana loaves I’ve made, which I’m putting down to the desiccated coconut. But that’s just a good excuse to eat a second slice to make sure none goes to waste, right?

Chocolate, cherry and coconut banana loaf
(recipe adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)

  • 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 medium bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g dried cherries
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the melted butter, then add the mashed bananas and eggs and beat together well.
  3. Sift over the flour, baking powder and bicarb and gently fold in using a large metal spoon until just incorporated.
  4. Add the cherries, coconut and chocolate and gently fold into the mix.
  5. Transfer the mix to the prepared loaf tin, smooth the top and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes until deeply golden,  springy to the touch and a skewer, when inserted into the cake, comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



3 thoughts on “Chocolate, cherry and coconut banana loaf

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