You may have made the switch to pumpkin bread already, but hold it right there -- there's one more banana bread recipe that you must try first. Or, at least listen to this soothing tutorial.
Darren McGrady, former chef to the British royal family, has apparently finally caught wind that absolutely everyone was baking during quarantine. Perfecting our banana bread was the hobby that got us through March and April, and now McGrady has shared a few more recipes to keep us occupied as we head back into our houses during these cooler months.
Chef McGrady filmed a YouTube video detailing how he used to make banana bread for Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family when he worked as personal chef to the Queen plus Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry from 1982 to 1997. He also shared with Insider that there were actually two recipes on hand, one for the Queen and her guests and another for the children.
"At the palace, we'd have banana bread in the refrigerator all the time. So if suddenly Princess Anne turned up and wanted afternoon tea just as we were locking up the kitchen and going for a break, it was OK, because we had banana bread," he said. "It was the same if the Queen had guests. Comfort food would always be on the menu."
You'll notice, though, that McGrady's recipe uses two ingredients unconventional for banana bread: nuts and raisins, add-ins that weren't very popular with the younger royals. So, he developed another recipe juuust for them.
"The only thing it wasn't used for was the royal nursery. And that's because the royal children at the time -- Wills, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie -- didn't like fruit and nuts," McGrady said.
Instead, McGrady would make a different version of his banana bread for the kiddos, this one sans any raisins, cherries or walnuts and instead with a caramel cream frosting.
Even if your quarantine baking days are over, perhaps save some room in your kitchen for just one more banana bread -- or, at the very least, simply watch McGrady do the baking. Listening to his U.K. accent's inflection on the word "banana" is entertainment enough.
Here are the recipes in full, whatever you choose!
8 oz self-rising flour
¼ tsp salt
4 oz unsalted butter
6 oz sugar
4 oz golden raisins
1 oz chopped walnuts
2 oz cherries
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 lb ripe bananas
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment.
3. Rub the butter into the flour and salt.
4. Add the sugar, walnuts, raisins and cherries.
5. Make a well and crack the eggs into the center.
6. Mash the bananas, add to the eggs and vanilla paste and mix well.
7. Add to the flour mix and stir until combined.
8. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, smooth out and bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the cake
1 cup plus 1 tbsp butter
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla paste
For the frosting
1 ½ cups unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup sour cream
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a ½ sheet pan tray (12 x 18 x 1).
2. Prepare the sponge by creaming the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs and banana and beat together. Stir in the flour, soda, sour cream, milk and vanilla paste until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
4. Pour into the prepared tray, smooth out and bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched and is a golden brown.
5. Allow the sponge to cool completely before frosting.
6. Prepare the frosting by melting the butter and sugar in a pan. Stir without boiling for about 2 minutes.
7. Add the sour cream, bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla paste.
8. Leave the frosting to cool slightly and thicken before carefully frosting the sponge.
9. Cut the cake into fingers and serve.