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Banana, Rum, Date and Walnut Tea Loaf



What would we do without over-ripe bananas to use?  I don't know.  I have a hard time keeping them in the house long enough for them to get ripe enough to bake with. I always have to tuck a few aside and hide them from Todd so he doesn't eat them up!  He is also likely to throw them away if he thinks they are too ripe.  I keep telling him that is when they are the best for baking, but if I am not quick enough, he tosses them without thinking.  He does enjoy the fruits of my labours however, so maybe with time, he will be coming to me with them saying what will you bake for me!  Hope springs eternal! 


The more freckled the banana the better, but I would say not much less than this, and I have been known to use bananas that are almost black. If you can't find a use for them right away, then peel and pop into a freezer container and freeze.  Then you will have them to hand when you CAN use them at a later date! YUM!



This is a lovely Tea Loaf, perfect for using up a few overripe bananas, but that's not all it has going for it.  It is moist and rich and very interestingly tasty with a few other bits that add a great deal of interest, flavour and texture to it.  I have adapted the recipe from the Carnation Recipe page with a few changes from the original as you will note.


I blitz the bananas in my small food processor attachment for my stick blender, along with a TBS of dark rum. You don't need to buy a big bottle of rum for this. I always keep small sample bottles of alcohol in the cupboard just for things like this.  Also you could use a tsp of rum flavouring added with water to make up a TBS if you wanted to. It would work perfectly.


Aside from that it is filled with lovely pieces of sticky dates, which go very well with the banana and the rum for that matter  . . . you add some lemon zest and juice to the dates, along with some bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. It foams.  Soda counters out any tannic acidity from the dates and also evens out their colour.  I looked it up because I have an inquiring mind and wanted to know why we always seem to be adding soda to dates  . . . with boiling water. Perhaps it even helps soften them a bit so they mix in better.


In any case the loaf is nicely studded with them, and the toasted walnut pieces. You don't have to toast the walnuts first, but I always do.  They just taste nuttier and nicer if they are toasted first!


I always let it sit and ripen overnight before I cut it. Sure you can eat it right away, but it cuts nicer if it has been allowed to get really cold and set overnight. I am not sure why this happens, but it does.  When you try to cut tea loaves not too long after baking they always seem to crumble.  Letting them age is best.


The Canadian in me loves them sliced thinly and spread with softened butter.  I can't seem to help myself.  Sure it is great without it, but it is even better with butter!  Say that really fast three times, better with butter, better with butter, better with butter!  Most things like this are. Mmmm . . .


*Banana, Rum, Date & Walnut Tea Loaf*
Makes 1 large loaf
(9 by 5-inch loaf tin)

Moist and delicious and filled to the brim with sticky dates, crunchy walnuts and rummy bananas! Beautiful cut into thin slices and spread with softened butter. 

150g stoned dates, chopped (1 cup)
2 TBS boiling water
the finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 medium very ripe bananas
1 TBS dark rum
85g baking spread (6 1/2 TBS, something like country crock will do)
55g dark soft brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)
170g Condensed milk (1 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS) 
(also known as Sweetened Condensed)
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
225g self raising flour (1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
115g toasted walnut pieces (1 cup)




Preheat the oven to 170*C/325*F/gas mark 3. Butter a 9 by 5 inch baking tin and line with baking paper. 

Place the dates into a bowl along with the boiling water, lemon zest, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.  Stir and then set aside to cool completely.

Peel the bananas and put into a mini processor with the rum.  Blitz until smooth.  Stir this mixture into the date mixture.

Cream together the baking spread, brown sugar and condensed milk until smoothly combined.  Gradually mix in the eggs and then the date mixture.  Sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir into the creamed mixture until well combined and there are no dry streaks of flour.  Stir in the walnuts.  Pour into the prepared baking tin. Smoothing over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until risen, set and golden brown.  A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.  Let sit in the tin for 15 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Cut into slices to serve with some softened butter.  Store any leftovers tightly wrapped.


This was a really great way to use up the remainder of my condensed milk from yesterday.  I enjoyed  a thin slice with some lemon and rose tea. Oh boy but it was a pleasant way to spend some of my Saturday afternoon!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. I love sticky dates in food..better than raisins!!:)

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    1. Thanks Monique. I love them both! No surprise there! ;-)

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  2. I tried this recently as I love banana breads and always trying out new recipes..it is absolutely delicious...very moist!

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    Replies
    1. I am very pleased that you enjoyed this!thank you so much for taking the time to let us all know about your experience! Xo

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