One-Bowl Brown Butter Banana Bread is a simple, moist and delectable way to use up over-ripe bananas. Slices freeze well and are perfect for lunchboxes and with a cup of tea.
Preheat your oven to 160C fan/180C/350F. Oil a 2 lb (9 x 5) loaf tin, and line with a long strip of parchment paper (this makes lifting the cake out much easier).
Slice the butter and heat in a small pan, watching it like a hawk, until it is deep golden. Stir it occasionally to prevent burning. It will foam up, then subside to a clear state, and you will start to see brown "sediment". Take the butter off the heat when it reaches a golden brown colour. Immediately pour it into your mixing bowl. I like to use a ceramic or Pyrex bowl.
Now add the mashed bananas, sugar, treacle, yogurt, egg and vanilla. Mix until completely amalgamated. I tend to use a strong whisk, but a large wooden spoon is fine, too. Now sift over the flours, baking powder, salt and cardamom, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Mix lightly, just until the flour disappears. Do not beat as this will make the banana bread tough.
Now pour the batter into the prepared tin. If you are decorating with a banana, slice it lengthways into three thin planks, laying them over the batter. Place on the centre shelf of your preheated oven and bake for around 50 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a thin skewer or toothpick; it is done if the skewer comes out clean. If a little batter is still clinging, place back in the oven - lightly covering with foil if brown enough - for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and slick with a little butter if you wish. Perhaps even the tiniest lightest dusting of ground cardamom (be careful though; it's potent stuff). Set aside to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the bread from the pan - use the overhanging paper - and allowing it to cool completely. Slice it up and enjoy with a cup of tea! Eat within five days, or freeze some for enjoying later.
To make muffins - often more appealing to kids - reduce the baking time to 20-25 minutes.
Variations: add chocolate chips (about 75 grams); chopped toasted nuts (about 75 grams); use ground cinnamon or nutmeg instead of the cardamom. You can also use either all butter or all olive oil. In this type of cake the only difference will be one of taste rather than texture.
To freeze: slice the banana bread and interleave slices with parchment paper before placing in a freezer-safe box or bag. To eat, remove however many slices you wish and let defrost naturally. This won't take long. The bread will keep well in the freezer for one month.
Make it vegan: use 2 teaspoons of baking powder rather than 1 teaspoon of baking soda and eliminate the yogurt and eggs; replace butter with a good quality solid vegan butter such as Naturli'.
Make it gluten-free: this is easily converted to your favourite gluten-free flour mix, although I've not yet made it this way.
A note on using US measurements: I have provided a tab to convert to US measures. Round them up or down as needed. For instance, the conversion of flour turns 125 grams of flour to 1.o4 cups. Obviously just use a level cup, tapping it on the counter after filling and adding more as needed to get it level at the top line.