Winning Be-Ro banana bread recipe

Please note that the original recipe is NOT mine. It’s one that I found years ago in one of my trusty fail-safe, go-to recipe books. It came from the Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th edition. I wanted to share it, along with some little alterations that I have made along the way to all the banana bread lovers out there.
200g (8oz) Self raising flour
1.25ml (1/4 tsp) Bicarbonate of soda
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Salt – I NEVER add this
75g (3oz) Butter – I use Stork margarine
150g (6oz) Caster sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
450g (1lb) Bananas (weighed with the skin on)
100g (4oz) Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Winning Be-Ro banana bread recipe
Recipe Type: Baking
Author: www.freycob.co.uk
Ingredients
  • 200g (8oz) Self raising flour
  • 1.25ml (1/4 tsp) Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Salt – I NEVER add this
  • 75g (3oz) Butter – I use Stork margarine
  • 150g (6oz) Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 450g (1lb) Bananas (weighed with the skin on)
  • 100g (4oz) Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C, Fan 160C, Gas 4.
  2. Grease & flour a 2lb loaf tin.
  3. Mix together the flour, bi-carb and salt (if using).
  4. Mash the bananas.
  5. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs, a little at a time, alternately with a spoonful of the flour mixture and beat well.
  7. Stir in the remaining flour, bananas and walnuts (if using).
  8. Pour into your prepared tin & bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
  10. Once cool, wrap in foil and ideally leave for 24 hours before slicing & eating.
1. Preheat your oven to 180C, Fan 160C, Gas 4.
2. Grease & flour a 2lb loaf tin.
3. Mix together the flour, bi-carb and salt (if using).
4. Mash the bananas.
5. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy.
6. Add the eggs, a little at a time, alternately with a spoonful of the flour mixture and beat well.
7. Stir in the remaining flour, bananas and walnuts (if using).
8. Pour into your prepared tin & bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
9. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
10. Once cool, wrap in foil and ideally leave for 24 hours before slicing & eating.


Rosie’s notes:

A) I add ALL of my ingredients to the bowl & mix as per the ‘all in one’ method.
B) Instead of greasing & lining my tins, I find it much easier & more convenient to line them with a loaf tin liner from Lakeland.
C) when the mixture is in the tin, scatter the top with some more chopped walnuts and then sprinkle some soft brown sugar over the top. The flavour that this imparts is amazing!
D) Try spreading your sliced banana bread with some proper butter for added flavour.
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Great Banana Bread Bake Off

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I spent a lovely afternoon in Vanessa Kimbell’s kitchen this afternoon where we decided to have an impromptu banana bread bake-off to use up some over-ripe bananas she’d got.
I chose to go with my very trusty (and fail safe) Be-Ro recipe, whilst Vanessa chose to follow Mary Berry’s.
There was no difference in the quality of ingredients used. All the eggs were free range from Vanessa’s chickens. The flour, (star anise) sugar, milk, Stork margarine and bananas were identical with exception to the quantities specified in the recipes. They were both made using the ‘all-in-one’ method using Kenwood K-Mix machines. Poured into identical greased & floured tins and baked on the same oven shelf for an identical amount of time.
From the start, my cake looked a different colour as my recipe called for 1lb of (skin on) bananas, whilst Vanessa’s only wanted 2 whole bananas.
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The resulting bake was judged by us both but to add an unbiased twist, was also judged by Vanessa’s husband, Alastair, who had no idea which one of us had baked which loaf. The initial reaction from us all was that one loaf seemed to be richer in colour, darker on the crust, had risen more and smell more intensely of banana. On cutting, from the crumb one was obviously lighter in texture.
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The hands down winner was this one…
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Which recipe was the winner? Why Be-Ro of course! My mum bought each of my sisters & I our first ever recipe book. Mine was the 35th edition, and since then I have added 3 more, updated versions, to my collection. It was my first ever recipe book & the one that I trust to work implicitly every time.
Thanks to Vanessa for such a lovely afternoon of laughs & baking together, and for letting me bring the winning loaf home to keep my hubby ‘sweet’ as I was later home than planned/promised.

Most Marvellous Chocolate Cake Results

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If you remember, I was invited recently by Vanessa Kimbell, the author of Prepped to take part in a bit of a supermarket ingredient experiment which involved us all making a cake using the same ingredients, to the same recipe and methodology but sourcing our ingredients from our ‘allocated supermarket’.

Well, we all dutifully purchased our ingredients as follows:

Aldi – Jayne
Asda – Karen
Co-Op – Ren
Lidl – Rosie (Me)
Marks & Spencer – Rachel
Sainsbury’s – Carmela
Tesco – Vanessa
Waitrose – Fleur
Charlotte was due to cook from Tesco ingredients, but due to her becoming quite unwell, Vanessa stepped up to the bar and filled the place.  (Get well soon Charlotte x).

This was my cake made using Lidl ingredients.

We had two judges who were blind tasting the cakes; William Sitwell; writer, presenter and editor of Waitrose Kitchen magazine and Helen from the fantastic food blog Fuss Free Flavours. They were helped by three chocolate cake connoisseurs; namely Libiana, Alice and Albert.  The judges knew the baker, as we each presented our cakes to them. What they didn’t know was the Supermarket that the ingredients were bought from or the cost of the cakes being presented.  The results were broadcast LIVE on BBC Radio Northampton’s Kitchen Garden show at 10am.

There was quite a vast difference between prices of ingredients purchased.  The most expensive being Marks and Spencer, with the cheapest being Aldi.  The cake costs varied from £12.50 to £6.78 per cake.

I have to say, it’s really quite scary presenting such fantastic foodies with a slice of your cake, even through it’s pretty much out of your hands what it tastes like as we were reliant on the ingredients being used.

It didn’t take long for the first cake to be dismissed (Asda), rapidly followed by Aldi and then Lidl hot on their heels.  The judges whittled the rest of the cakes down to their final three which were placed on the top table for final judging.

I really didn’t envy the judges task; 9 sumptuous chocolate cakes, decadent, rich and calorie laden!

The final three were ranked as follows:

1st – Morrisons (4th most expensive at £9.61 per cake)
2nd – Co-Op (3rd most expensive at £10.32 per cake)
3rd – Sainsbury’s (6th most expensive at £8.63 per cake).

The ‘budget brand’ supermarkets of Aldi and Lidl were in the bottom three along with Asda.

So, if you want to make Vantessa’s Chocolate & Raspberry Cake, make sure that you go and buy your own brand supermarket ingredients from Morrisons!

I had a fantastic time, the calories that I burnt off with the nerves were rapidly replaced post-judging with a slice of chocolate cake…. or two!

If you’re local and want to to have a coffee and possibly a slice of yummy cake in a Most Marvellous Cafe, take a trip along to Most Marvellous on Kettering Road in Northampton.  While you’re there, take a look around at what there is to offer in this most unique vintage/retro store.

Thanks to Vanessa for arranging this.