Having partaken of much tea last week, and mentioned in a previous blog that I would focus on a blog about tea and cooking using it, I have failed… There are so many recipes in my Miss Reeve’s collection but I have failed, so far, to find one. Not that there won’t be one found. It is just a question of finding the time to go through the whole lot!
So, I searched my own meagre recipe scribblings and found a Banana and Honey Tea Loaf. Interestingly, there is no tea in it. There seems to be a raft of cakes called tea loaf, tea cake, tea bread etc but none contain tea so I assume that they refer to cakes served at good old tea time. And the Banana and Honey Tea Loaf seems to be one such one.
My scribbles on a scrappy piece of paper do not tell me from whence this recipe came! So I cannot attribute it to anybody clever and gifted at cooking.
I have decided from now on to photograph the ingredients, once prepared – for those people like me who are put off recipes when they see a long list of ingredients. Most of the time, it doesn’t take much to prepare them and that becomes obvious once done, so I will from now on photograph the ingredients, prepared, so you can see which ones seem to contain endless ‘stuff’ and which look complex in terms of preparation. I am sure clever and experienced cooks can tell that straight away but not I. And maybe not you!
BANANA AND HONEY TEA LOAF
Ingredients: 115g butter (softened); 115g light brown sugar; 115g thick set honey; 2 eggs beaten; 225g self-raising white or wholemeal flour (I used wholemeal); 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon; 2 large bananas; A squeeze of lemon juice.
To my mind, this is a simple set of ingredients to prepare and assemble and, as you can see, doesn’t require endless worktop space to keep until used!
Preheat oven to 180C (so 160 if fan assisted). Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin. Put butter, sugar and honey in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and then fold in the flour and your choice of spice. Peel bananas, mash the flesh with a little lemon juice. Fold mashed bananas into the mixture until mixed, then put mixture in loaf tin and level the surface. Bake for 1 – 1 1/4 hours. It will rise and be golden brown and firm to touch. (I found the top began to really quite brown which made me nervous, especially when it still had a way to go, so I covered it in some tin foil.) Remove it once cooked. Let it cool for a while in the tin and then take it out; cool it and eat it.
I had, and here I confess to a dreadful appreciation of size and weight, trouble working out whether the multitude of loaf tins that I have are 1 lb or 2 lb or 354lbs or 1/2 lb… Miss Reeve used to label them. Somehow during the passage of years, I have lost the labels. So, I found what I thought looked like something that could contain 2 bags of sugar and tried that. It was fine. In case you are similarly ‘size troubled’ like me, I have taken a photo of the size as against the TV clicker if that helps!
I am pleased that I kept an eye on it in the oven. It was catching on the top. So you might want to put some tinfoil on it after about 45 minutes. I took it out after 1 hour.
Did it work well? Did it taste good? Would I make it again?
Yes! The tin seemed perfect in size. It tasted very good. And in fact the longer you leave it, the better the taste seems to develop. We ate it over the course of a week and it remained moist and the taste seemed to improve even more than when it was first made. And yes, I would make it again.
Here it is in its wholesome form!