Yotam Ottolenghi's Grilled Banana Bread with Tahini and Honeycomb
Telephone calls were put through to the next-door arches when this came together in the test kitchen: ‘stop what you are doing, you must come for tea’. This is all about three things: an incredibly perfect banana bread (thank you, Helen), tahini, which is so smooth and nutty you could eat it by the spoon, and arriving at the table with a big cup of tea and a rumbling tummy. I pitched this to the team as my offering for Christmas breakfast. Raised eyebrows relaxed back down once the trilogy was tried.
For me, tahini is the new peanut butter. It is runnier and earthier but has a similarly rich ﬂavour and is completely impossible to resist. In many Middle Eastern cultures it is served not only as a base for hummus and other savoury sauces and dips, but also as a spread served at breakfast with sweet condiments, such as grape or date syrup.
The banana bread can be baked in advance – a day or two, or even more – and then just sliced and grilled when you need it. Drizzle it with tahini as I do here, or leave out the tahini and make do with the butter, honeycomb and salt.
|3||large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (300g)|
|275g||soft light brown sugar|
|3||eggs, lightly beaten|
|1 tsp||bicarbonate of soda|
|1½ tsp||baking powder|
|80g||unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|200g||honeycomb in honey|
|¾ tsp||coarse sea salt|
You will need: a 900g loaf tin (25cm x 12cm)
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC Fan/Gas Mark 3½ and line a 900g loaf tin (25cm x 12cm), with baking parchment.
Place the pecans on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes before roughly chopping them and setting aside.
Place the bananas, sugar and eggs in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until combined. With the machine running on a slow speed, add ½ teaspoon of salt, the milk and then the oil. Sift together the ﬂour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and, with the machine still running, add this to the mix. Continue to mix on a medium speed for about 5 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Stir through the pecans and then pour the mixture into the loaf tin.
Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until a skewer or knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave aside for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and setting aside on a wire rack until completely cool. You can now wrap the bread in foil and keep for up to 5 days, or freeze for a few weeks.
Set your oven grill to high. Cut the banana bread into 2cm-thick slices and brush with butter. Place under the grill for up to 2 minutes, until lightly toasted on one side, and remove. Drizzle over the tahini, place a chunk of honeycomb on each slice and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve at once.