Now, I’m fully aware that this spice mix hasn’t be used for its intended purpose, but I’m not sorry about it. I’m also fully aware that there is not booze involved either but do not let it discourage you from making this. Glühwein is known as mulled wine in English and invokes cold weather, cold hands clutching something warm while strolling through a Christmas market or sitting outside huddled around a fire, drinking something bolstering . My reality is my underboob sweat is dripping through into my shirt, I can hear crickets “singing” (high-pitch irritation) and while I want to keep holiday baking, I can’t bare to have the oven on for too long. It’s a far cry from a winter wonderland but it’s not stopping me from wanting to inject a bit of Germanic cold winter month dreaming into my Queensland summer festivities.
I’m also fully aware, that such a spice mix, may not be easily acquired by my Southern Hemisphere friends. I get mine from my favourite spice shop https://gewurzhaus.com.au/ (have a browse, you’ll fall down a rabbit hole of spice dreams) but if you still can’t access, fear not, a simple combination of mixed spice, cloves, orange and lemon peel and a good grind of black pepper should do the trick nicely.
The use of grapeseed oil results in the tenderest of crumbs combined with a crisp, golden brown crust on the outside. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the omission of creaming butter and sugar in a baking recipe, really does cut down on time and always results in a quick whipping up of something tasty to be snaffled by comers and goers throughout the day. Thus, it’s a perfect cake for this time of year, when dropper-inners are all too common and you want to have something familiar and comforting on offer but with a little extra sparkle. Having said that, I wouldn’t object to this cake at any time of the year and do feel free to make this your staple banana bread recipe (as it is mine) and add a splosh of vanilla extract or keep the spices simple with a dash of cinnamon. Also, nothing is holding you back from serving this with an alcoholic beverage or some mulled wine. Tis the season!
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any light flavoured oil)
1/2 cup of full cream milk
2 bananas (they must, must, must be spotty and brown please, the darker the better)
2 cups of self raising flour
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 generous teaspoon of Glühwein spices (or a dash of the following; mixed spice, clove, ginger, black pepper and some lemon and orange rind)
First, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a baking loaf tin. Set aside and get on with mashing you bananas. I only had one when I was making this but two is best. Still tasted delicious though.
You can mash your bananas as much or as little as you like. I prefer a bit of texture in mine. Crack in your two eggs and whisk them together until they are well combined.
Next pour in your milk and whisk again.
Add both your sugars and combine again.
It’s here that you can add your vanilla extract if you’re using.
Carefully splosh in your oil and combine as best you can (it will look curdled and not appealing but do not worry!)
Sift your flour and add that to the bowl (I promise I did sift this) along with the spices.
Slowly and carefully combine the flour and spices into the wet ingredients. You want it to be lumpy with some small, tiny flecks of flour peeking through. DO NOT OVER MIX. Thank you.
Pour into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Because it is such a dense mixture as well as the natural high sugar content of the bananas, the bread tends to brown quickly. If when tested with a skewer, the bread is still claggy and not done, simply cover with some aluminium foil and return to the oven to finish baking.
How you serve this is entirely up to you. Plain and simply cut into ample slices is more than perfect but if you’re a glutton, a considerable amount of butter melted into this is sublime. Honey drizzled on top is a personal favourite and this also can be sliced thickly and toasted to crispy perfection for a naughty Christmas morning breakfast.