110 g unsalted butter
30 g pecan nuts + 8 to decorate
150 g caster or soft brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs
100 g milk
1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
2 large bananas, very ripe
350 g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
30 g chocolate chips
1 Tbsp Demerara sugar (optional)
30 g icing sugar
2-3 tsp maple syrup
1 11×6 cm loaf tin
- Set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan. Grease and line the baking tin with baking parchment.
- Roast the pecans in the oven for 12 mins, then remove from the oven. When cool, chop into chunks.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on a moderate heat, and allow to bubble away until the colour deepens, and it starts to smell nutty and delicious (don’t let it burn!). Strain into a medium size heatproof bowl, leaving the dark solids behind, and allow to cool a little. Add the sugar and whisk until combined, followed by the eggs, and finally the milk and vanilla.
- Mash the bananas with a fork in a separate bowl.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the mixture and gently stir until the ingredients are just combined. Fold in the banana, nuts and chocolate. Pour the batter into the tin, smooth the top, and sprinkle over the whole nuts and a little Demerara sugar (optional). Don’t hang around as the bicarbonate of soda starts to work as soon as it’s mixed in.
- Bake for 50 to 65 minutes, until the top of the cake is caramelized (the time depends on the ripeness of the bananas). It’s ready when a skewer/cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out and leave to cool on a rack.
- Mix the icing sugar and honey, and drizzle over the top.