Getting to know this oven is both fun, and a little bit daunting. But I was up for a challenge, and wanted to use up the bananas sitting around in the freezer. So I flipped through what is fast becoming my favourite cookbook, The Gluten-Free Cookbook, and found a recipe for banana and chestnut bread. It sounded delicious, and it was simple enough to substitute the chestnut flour for hazelnut meal when making the batter. Chestnut flour isn’t a readily available ingredient around here. The batter itself was delicious and simple to put together too, if a little bit more time consuming than I expected. And as it baked, this banana bread filled the kitchen with its wonderful smells!
But the actual baking was a little trickier than I anticipated, and that made it even more fun. I at first went with the recommended cooking temperature and time written in the oven manual, then reduced the temperature twice until I was satisfied. The cooking time in the original recipe turned out to be spot on, and the banana-hazelnut bread came out wonderful and brown in the end despite all the fiddling. The good news is that from this experiment I now know exactly what temperature to set my sweet loaf-style cakes too! And it was very well received!
Adapted from The Gluten-Free Cookbook’s
Banana and Chestnut Bread
Serves: 6, Prep: 30 mins, Cook: 50-55 mins
- 140g gluten-free plain flour
- 140g hazelnut meal
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xantham gum
- 1 tsp bi-carb soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large bananas/3 small bananas, mashed
- 115g unsalted butter
- 115g brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 90ml milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C fan-forced, and grease and line a loaf tin.
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and then create a well in the centre.
- Combine the eggs and the milk, and then pop the butter into a saucepan and melt it. Add the brown sugar to the butter and stir it until it’s semi-melted, and there are no lumps left.
- Stir the wet ingredients, and the mashed banana, into the dry ingredients until combined, then pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.
- Let cool in the tin for about five or so minutes, then gently lift the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve warmed, with butter.