This is a variation, maybe an improvement, on what is my most successful recipe. Most successful in terms of people coming up to me in the street and saying “Oh my goodness, that banana bread is amazing!” And banana bread is amazing – it stays moist for day after day and it’s much healthier than normal cake. It isn’t rich like a Victoria sponge, either – you can eat pretty much the whole loaf and still want some more. I don’t know what it is about fruit and cake, but it seems to divide people. I tell tales of my ideal chocolate brownies and have people hooked as I divulge the tips and tricks for what I believe is the perfect peat-bog textured sludge, then as soon as I say “then scatter some raspberries over” people switch off. It’s chocolate chips or nothing. And it seems to be the same here.
First, preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas 2. Line a 2lb loaf tin with a sheet of baking paper – there’s no need to do any fancy cutting or even any greasing. Just shove it in and press it into the corners.
In a large bowl, beat together your sugar and butter until paste-like. It doesn’t need to be super light and fluffy like in normal cakes. Then, add your bananas and continue to beat to a sludge.
Add your eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by your flour and baking powder. There’s no need to sieve, but it might be an idea to rub your baking powder lightly into your flour before folding so it is evenly distributed. Mix your flour in very gently – it should only JUST be incorporated.
Finally, add in your blackberries. If they’re ripe, you’ll have to be very careful when folding them in as they can break easily. Not that that’s a bad thing, but your cake will have a purplish tinge to it.
Transfer your cake into your lined tin and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour, but check if it’s done/burning/overflowing after 50 minutes and adjust your oven down appropriately. Check with a skewer or knife to see if the centre is cooked – if not, but the top is brown, cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
This as an opportunity to use up those old, brown, rotting bananas. Seriously, the blacker the better.