Tag Archives: Pick me up

Banana chocolate loaf for a touch of cabin fever

14 Sep

Dear Cake Doctor

I’ve been cooped up at home recovering from a broken ankle for weeks. My flat’s a fourth-floor walk-up so there’s been little chance to go out and I’m steadily becoming more and more frustrated at having to stay put. Is there a cake to ease the tightening tension?


Cooped up


Dear Cooped up,

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been stuck indoors for so long. While we all like a day at home, a string of days with forced feet up is disheartening and depressing. What you need is a cake that’s easy to whip up, that will restore and revitalise, and cheer you right back up again. So, I’m prescribing you a banana chocolate loaf. It’s moist and delicious – crispy on the outside and soft and unctuous on the inside, with chunks of dark chocolate scattered throughout.

You shouldn’t need to go out for ingredients – you’ll have most of them at home already – and  you can throw in those browning bananas you bought before your broke your ankle! You’ll feel better as soon as the warm scent of banana and chocolate start to float from your oven and be re-energised by every slice. You could probably tempt your friends back over for another visit with a slice of this delicious cake too. And even if you don’t manage to demolish the whole loaf in a matter of days, it toasts extraordinarily well. In a week’s time a slice of warm toasted banana bread with gooey chocolate morsels, spread with melting salted butter might be just the thing to keep you out of that funk and stop you going bananas yourself.


The Cake Doctor x


Complaint: Cabin fever

Prescription: Banana chocolate loaf (adapted from Bill Granger’s choc banana bread in his book ‘bills food’)


250g  plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature (or, fridge-cold, softened in the microwave for 30 seconds)

250g caster sugar

4 large ripe bananas (5 if they’re medium-sized)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (vanilla essence is also ok)

200g dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius (200 if yours isn’t fan-forced).

Butter the base and sides of a loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper.









Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and set aside.









Mash your bananas with the back of a fork, or a handheld blender

















Chop up your chocolate, roughly, into small chunks.

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and beat with a freestanding electric mixer, a handheld electric whisk, or just a wooden spoon until the butter and sugar pale in colour and increase in volume.









Then add the eggs, vanilla extract and banana and continue to beat the mixture until fully incorporated.









Now, remove the bowl from the mixer, or set aside the handheld whisk or wooden spoon. Tip the chopped chocolate into the wet mixture and stir through.








Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the wet mixture and incorporate thoroughly, but gently, using a spatula so as not to ‘overmix’. Overmixing after the dry ingredients have been put in toughens the proteins in the flour and results in a denser, heavier end result.









Pour the mix into the prepared tin and place in the pre-heated oven for approximately one hour, or until the top is golden, the edges of the cake have come away from the sides of the tin, and a gently-inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for about ten minutes before turning out on to a rack to cool further. Slice and devour (with or without a slather of salted butter) as soon as the cake feels like it might be the perfect temperature.

Get well soon!


The Cake Doctor x