Last Friday (24th February) showed up in my social media timeline as #NationalBananaBreadDay (it's an American food calendar date)...I didn't need much more of a reason to get my bake on than that - so I decided to experiment with a new version of my beloved Banana Bread recipe.
One of the things I love most about baking it that once you have a base recipe that you know works, you can have fun adding and taking away flavours to get interesting variations on a theme.
This time, I decided to use up the end of a jar of my beloved Lotus Biscoff Cookie Spread (smooth not crunchy) - it's a firm favourite in the Bishop house, Bert calls it "biscuit jam" (CUTE!) and Liam and I have loved it since I first discovered it on the shelves of Waitrose back in November 2012.
If you haven't tried it yet a) where have you BEEN? and b) YOU MUST. It is basically an alternative to chocolate spread or peanut butter, it comes in smooth or crunchy, and is a smooth, unctuous, super sweet spread made from ground up Caramelised Lotus Biscuits (you know those little individually wrapped biscuits you get on the side of your latte in coffee shops?) It is the crack cocaine of toast toppings!
So today, I happily bring you a wonderful variation on plain banana bread - a deliciously caramel-y banana loaf with a sugary crust! Mmmmm.
Lotus Biscoff Banana Bread
110g Salted Butter, room temperature
190g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
240g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 medium-large Bananas, mashed
100g Lotus Biscoff Spread
25g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
2. Grease a loaf tin with butter or use a loaf tin paper liner.
3. Cream the sugar and the butter together until light and pale. (I use a Kitchen Aid, but you could use a wooden spoon or an electric hand whisk, either would work well too).
4. Add in one of your beaten eggs and a little of the flour (to prevent curdling) and mix through, repeat this with the other egg and the rest of flour. Next add the baking soda and mix until everything is combined and smooth.
5. Peel the bananas and mash them with the back of a fork.
6. Add 100g Lotus Biscoff Spread and the Vanilla Extract to the mashed bananas and mix through. Add this to the butter/sugar/flour mix, and combine.
7. Pour the mix into your greased loaf tin and sprinkle 25g of dark brown soft sugar over the top of your loaf (this will create an amazing crust!) Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 60 minutes.
8. You can cover it with baking foil after 30 minutes to stop it getting too brown on top if you need too. Mine was absolutely fine though.
9. Insert a metal skewer into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out clean the banana bread is ready. If it comes out wet pop it back in for another 3 minutes and test again, keep doing this until the skewer comes out clean.
10. Remove from the loaf tin and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
My favourite way to enjoy this cake is still slightly warm with a huge mug of tea or coffee, for extra crazy decadence smother your slice in a thin layer of Smooth Lotus Biscoff Spread (naughty, but oh so nice).
Each very generous slice comes in at 433 calories.
You could also bake this as a round sandwich cake rather than a loaf cake...
Separate the mix into two round cake pans, and bake for around 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Then sandwich them together using Lotus Biscoff spread, or add Lotus Biscoff to flavour a standard buttercream, and use that for a sturdier filling.
You could top your cake with another layer of biscuit spread/buttercream and push whole Biscoff biscuits or crumble the biscuits all over the top for an uber-decadent Lotus Biscoff cake creation!
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