Friday, 11 May 2012

apple blossom honey, walnut and banana loaf - tea time treats

... I am absolutely crazy for the glorious honey I picked up at The Skibrooke Cyder Company... I simply can't get enough of its wonderful depth of flavour... they say you can taste the flora that the honey bee draws its nectar from and in this case it is so absolutely true... when eaten raw the honey has hints of apple blossom and rapeseed but once baked it comes alive a kaleidoscope of ginger, golden syrup and undertones of caramelised pineapple, which is why it works so well baked here in this simple banana loaf, and why I am entering it into this months tea-time treats, the theme of which is Floral Flavour and Flowers... hosted with such elegance each alternate month by Kate from What Kate Baked and Karen from Lavender and Lovage...

the first of the apple blossom from the Skidbrooke orchard

... we're having a rare day of sunshine and warmth here at Belleau Cottage and the poor bees really do need it as Guy Williams from Skidbrooke Cyder tells me they've been having real problems getting out to feed recently with all this wet weather, so much so that he's worried they'll starve and has been having to feed them a sugar solution... and with the fields of rapeseed so tantalisingly close it must be dreadful for those hungry little workers and isn't good for us either for without the bees working their magic on our plants and trees we'll all suffer... let's hope there's some more sunshine soon before its too late!

apple blossom honey, walnut and banana loaf
as you know this is my 'go-to' banana loaf recipe, developed by my mum and if you haven't tried it yet then its a must... if you want the basic banana-only recipe, eliminate the honey and add a second mashed banana... it is so easy to do and just so damned fine you'll wonder why you never made it before!

8oz self-raising flour
4oz butter or margarine
4oz sugar
1 very ripe banana - mashed
2 eggs - beaten
2oz chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon natural honey

- pre heat the oven to 170C

- in a large bowl use your hands to mix the flour, butter and sugar into breadcrumbs, then add the mashed banana, eggs, honey and walnuts

- mix with a wooden spoon until it is a smooth, thick batter

- pour into a loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and risen

... I have a few more dishes up my sleeves to use this honey, some sweet and some savoury, so do come back and check out the others later in the month...

until then, eat and of course, enjoy!



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