This is a recipe I’ve been using and tinkering with for a few years. It started out as pretty simple recipe for banana muffins. One morning I was making them, and had half a pot of leftover coffee, and thought that banana and coffee are pretty much a match made in ingredient heaven, so I used the coffee instead of milk, which had the added bonus of being suitable for people who can’t have dairy (while at the same time making them completely unsuitable for
Later on, I added some dates and walnuts, and poured the batter into a loaf pan, and the banana loaf was born. While I list wheat flour in the recipe below, I’ve made it several times using gluten free flours, and plan to try it with spelt flour in the near future.
Is it a bread or a cake? Well, that depends on how you eat it, and which of the optional ingredients you use. With dates and/or walnuts it’s more like a cake, and with seeds, or plain, it’s more like a bread. This time, I used sunflower seeds, so it was leaning more toward the bread end of the spectrum.
The other thing about using coffee as an ingredient is that, if you’re anything like me, you shouldn’t eat this in the evening. At least, not if you have plans which include sleep. Instead, it’s perfect for morning tea, or even for breakfast. After a day or two (if it lasts that long) it can be toasted, and spread with butter, or ricotta, or whatever takes your fancy.
1 cup black coffee
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of oil (or melted butter/margarine)
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1½ cups plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1½ cups sunflower seeds (or dates, or other dried fruits, or nuts)
Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (approx 350ºF)
Grease and line a loaf pan.
Mix the bananas, coffee, maple syrup and vanilla extract in blender or food processor.
Cream the oil and sugar together, and beat in the egg. Beat until the the mixture lightens slightly in colour.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and nutmeg. Sift if needed.
Alternate folding the dry and wet mixtures into the oil, sugar and egg – about 1/2 a cup at a time. Mix well, but do not beat. Fold in 1 cup of the sunflower seeds (or dried fruit or nuts).
Sprinkle some sunflower seeds into the bottom of the loaf pan, pour in the mixture, sprinkle the remaining sunflower seeds on top.
Bake for 45 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
Calorie Count: The entire loaf has a slightly scary 2735 calories. However, a single slice has a much more reasonable 273.5 calories (I conveniently got ten slices).
Experimental Status: Tried and tested.
Repeatablity: Very reliable.