Recipe: Banana, cardamom and pistachio bread

Cardamom and pistachio give a modern spin and a bit of crunch to the best way of using up spotty brown bananas. Ground cardamom can be bought online. For an even better flavour, extract and grind the seeds from 10 green cardamom pods using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.

This is delicious served warm with butter, but equally good with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

Ingredients

● 250g plain flour
● 3 tsp baking powder
● ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
● 1 tsp ground cardamom
● Pinch of salt
● 90g softened butter
● 115g soft light brown sugar
● 2 medium eggs, beaten
● 100g finely chopped pistachio nuts
● 2 tbsp sour cream or Greek yoghurt
● 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 400g)
● Icing sugar, to dust (optional)

Method

● Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin approx 21 x 11cm.
● Fold a long strip of baking parchment so it just fits the width of the tin and overhangs at both ends. It will work as a sling to lift out the loaf when it is cooked.
● Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cardamom and salt into a bowl.
● Cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer using the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one by one, beating until fully combined, then mix in the bananas.
● Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour. Reserve a tablespoon of pistachio nuts for garnish and then add the rest to the mixture with the yoghurt.
● Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven between 45 and 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
● Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out to cool on a wire rack.
● Decorate with sifted icing sugar and the reserved pistachio nuts.

Last updated: 2:28pm, February 10 2012