We’re in limbo. We are awaiting a visit from our landlady but it looks like we may be on the move again. The trouble with renting is that although it will always be your home whilst you are there, it is not your house and it can be taken away at a moment’s (or one month’s) notice.
Initially I panicked but now that logic has had time to walk around pointing things out, I can see that there may be several advantages and very little actual change. We intend to stay in the village so Izzy will still go to the same playgroup. There will be no difference in travelling time for Rich to get to work. I work from home so it doesn’t matter where I am. My parents will still be close by, though not literally across the road. I will pop to the same shop for milk. We will play in the same park and drive along the same roads. We make our home, along with our scruffy sofa, mismatched plates and Rich’s collection of terrible films so our home is where we, and they, are. We just need to wait.
There are some foods that we instinctively turn to when we’re in need of comfort and familiarity. And two at the top of the list for me are banana bread and a crumble. Both give a feeling that can only be likened to safety. Two dishes that have been in my life for as long as I can remember and provide a hug in food form.
But in the spirit of acceptance there are times when we need to willingly change things that are familiar. Not by a lot and making sure we keep the things that make it what we know, but a change nonetheless. Combining is good. Putting crumble on top of banana bread is good. Adding almonds to banana bread and turning it into a cake works.
It’s a very damp cake thanks to the almonds and bananas. The amount of crumble is generous, which is the only way as far as I’m concerned. If you’re not as obsessed with crumble topping as I am then you may want to consider reducing the crumble quantity by about a third.
I’ve baked this as both the 8 inch cake version you see here and in a 2lb loaf tin. In a round it takes on a ‘proper’ cake status, suitable for serving with a fork alongside tea in teacups, poured from a pot. As a loaf it brings to mind large slices washed down with a brew in your favourite mug, enjoyed on the sofa with no worries about crumbs. Either way it tastes of everything you already know but with a few – not so scary – changes.
Old favourites are that for a reason but sometimes it’s good to introduce change. This gives all the comfort of banana bread but introduces almonds and includes a crumble topping
- 125g butter, melted and left to cool
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 100g plain flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g light brown sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 40g butter, cold and cut in to cubes
- Preheat the oven to 170c and line an 8 inch round cake tin (or 2lb loaf tin) with baking parchment.
- Mix the melted butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and bananas and mix well. Combine the flour, ground almonds and baking powder and then stir well in to the wet mixture, making sure that no pockets of flour remain. Scrape into the prepared tin
- In another bowl, place the sugar, flour and ground almonds. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Scatter the crumble over the surface of the cake and spread out gently making sure that the whole top is covered.
- Bake in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted in to the middle comes out relatively clean. As this is a very damp cake there will still be some crumbs sticking to it though. If you are baking this in a loaf tin then you will need to extend the cooking time slightly to around 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.