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So, there we were on a fine spring day, staying at home instead of attending play group, all because the kid has decided to toilet train. Who’d have thought? Just a day before, it had been a struggle to get him to even sit on the toilet. Then I chatted with some mummy friends and decided to wait till he was ready. He must have heard, because since that moment, he refused to wear a nappy. Reverse psychology for the win! The only down side was that we then had to spend several days at home.

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Being forced to stay at home, of course my mind turned to baking. We had all the ingredients; sunshine, a bowl of over-ripe bananas, and no real agenda… except that he wanted me to play with him, and I wanted to bake! We made a deal; get the cake in the oven then we play outside together. Once a compromise had been reached, the day progressed as well as it could; he napped early and then played outside; I washed about 6 pairs of undies and somehow, amongst it all, baked a cake.

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This cake is my favourite for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a one-bowl affair. Any cake that doesn’t require many dishes is a winner in my books. Secondly, the flavour is incredible. Because the banana is melted with the butter and sugar, there is a deep, caramel like flavour going on, not least because there’s loads of sugar involved! Once cooled, cut into thick slices and freeze. Defrost one or two at your leisure, pop them in the toaster and revel in the aroma of warm, fresh café style banana bread!

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Melt-and-Mix Banana Bread
Super easy and delicious, this cake is superb toasted and buttered and served for brunch.

Ingredients
3 to 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
120g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda
¾ caster (super-fine) sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350F. Grease a medium loaf tin (base measures 10cm x 20cm) with non-stick cooking spray and line base and two long sides with baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Place butter and mashed bananas into a saucepan and melt on low heat. Stir in the sugar, bicarb soda and milk until the sugar appears to have dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before stirring in the beaten eggs and flour mixture.

Pour mixture into loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm or cool with butter.

Banana cake slices can be frozen and defrosted.

Adapted from The Cake Mistress

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