An Old Vintage Hovis Bread Tin
Nigel Slater’s Black Banana Cake Recipe
I am an avid collector of what is called “Kitchenalia”, although some of my collection comes under the banner of “Kitsch-enalia”! I have plans to share my vintage collection of much-loved kitchen equipment soon – over many posts I am sure, as I really am a bit of a magpie. My collection is vast and covers many sorts of baking and cooking apparel, of which my favourites pieces are vintage (and antique) cake tins, patty tins, jelly moulds and bread tins. In my collection I have two old Hovis bread tins – each one is sufficient to bake a 1 lb loaf (that’s 450g in modern money) and they both have that iconic of names on the side AND underneath the tins, HOVIS, which is then imprinted on the bread as it bakes. I bought both of my bread tins from a Norfolk bakery, who were sadly closing down, they had hundreds of these bread tins up for auction, as every single loaf of Hovis bread they baked on the premises was baked in these type of loaf tins. It’s very sad to see the demise of our local bakeries, but I am happy to report that things are starting to look up, as we all start to demand “artisan” bread again. And, I am happy to keep these humble bread tins in production with my own baking experiments.
Anyway, to get back to today’s recipe, which I baked in one of my Hovis tins, it’s that good old standby, the saviour of old bananas, a Banana Bread or as Nigel Slater calls it so eloquently, a Black Banana Cake. I had some black bananas, I also had some yellow bananas, somehow my shopping went a little haywire and I ended up buying fresh bananas before using my old ones……it happens! I am NOT one to throw food away, and even though my old bananas were VERY black, funnily enough they were still okay inside. (This usually happens when bananas are transported in cold containers where the temperature is too low, and are then kept in over-cool storage areas before being sent to the shops and supermarkets) As part of Janice (Farmersgirl Kitchen) and Sue’s (A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate) Dish of the Month, where everyone is encouraged to make or bake something a la Nigel Slater, I decided to try his recipe for Black Banana Cake, rather than my usual recipe for Banana and Walnut Tea Bread. Nigel’s recipe suggests hazelnuts, which sounds like a great nutty addition, but I had to use walnuts, as I still have several jars from my own walnut tree harvest of last year.
Nigel’s recipe also has the wicked addition of CHOCOLATE! I was out of chocolate too – I know that puts me in the minority of the population, but I am on a diet and if I KNOW there is a bar or four of chocolate in the house, I’ll scoff the lot! So, I added some extra nuts to my banana cake and added a few white chocolate chips that I had in my “baking odds and ends tin”. (I don’t count white chocolate as chocolate, but I do use it for baking and butter-cream icing now and then) The cake was remarkably forgiving about these changes and the result was a deliciously moist and nutty banana bread of the very highest calibre. I even had a faint “Hovis” embedded in the sides of my cake as well as underneath……it was an easy recipe and I plan to make it again with all of Nigel’s ingredient suggestions, as I imagine that dark chocolate chips and hazelnuts will enhance this recipe even further.
Nigel’s recipe can be found here: Nigel Slater Black Banana Cake and the recipe is taken from Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers, which is a VERY successful BBC programme where Nigel takes us through a week’s worth of seasonal and simple supper recipes. If you don’t have the ingredients, like me, then just do as I did and add a few extra walnuts as well as any other chocolatey stuff, such as white chocolate chips (drops). I DO advise using very ripe (black) bananas, as they have the flavour and texture that make this recipe work – fresh bananas are JUST too firm. This banana cake recipe has fortified both of us over the last few days, as we start to “spring clean” the house, and I have served a couple of slices (buttered) with our afternoon mug of tea…….pure bliss! I also have a FABULOUS Chocolate Paradise Bread and Butter Pudding recipe that makes good use of black bananas, if you fancy something on the pudding side! Have a great Wednesday, and see you later, Karen