The 23rd February is National Banana Bread day! Not being a huge fan of standard banana bread I decided to mix it up a bit and make a banoffee bread – basically banana bread with chocolate chips and pieces of toffee mixed into the bread batter. I topped it off with drizzles of chocolate and a sprinkling of toffee pieces. It looks pretty, tastes good and is incredibly easy to make. My niece, Bella, is on her school holidays at the moments so she spent the morning with me cooking, photographing and playing games. The banoffee bread was in the oven within 15 minutes of starting to make it so we sat down to a mammoth session of dobble, the most addictive card game. She beat me, time and time again – I definitely need more practice. If you have never played dobble, I warn you – don’t start now as you will never get anything done..ever again.
Recipes for banana bread have appeared in US cookbooks ever since baking powders became popular in cooking in the 1930’s. The bread doesn’t contain yeast so needs a bit of baking powder to give the bread some rise. Most recipes call for you to use ripe bananas, perhaps as a way of sweetening the bread more or perhaps just as a throw back to finding some use for overripe bananas during the Great Depression (when banana bread first started appearing in cookery books) . As I was adding chocolate and toffee pieces to the batter I didn’t want the bread to be too sweet, so i used a banana that wasn’t too ripe, as I felt this would help.
I hope that you enjoy this variation on standard banana bread. The toffee pieces that are interspersed throughout the moist bread give an unexpected crunch and the semi sweet chocolate chips are a nice addition.