Spring is coming! Yay! All around us, nature is starting to realise its potential and come into bud, returning to new life. At this time of year, following the festival of Imbolc or Candlemas at the start of February, we honour the Maiden Goddess Brighid (Christianised as St Bride), renewer of light, bearer of the eternal flame of healing and joy. Spring flowers are starting to appear, and the light is returning in the form of longer days, but the weather can still be pretty cold and chilly in the UK – so cosy bakes are still very much welcomed!
We are slowly moving into the active half of the year, but the ingredients that are available to us are still simple. I love making seasonal baking recipes, and I think this one is perfect for an early spring tea party. It’s a simple pound cake recipe with a twist. Filled with banana and raisins and topped with walnuts, it’s perfect to bring to seasonal ceremony, or enjoy as a cosy tea time treat while the winter wind rages outside.
2 medium ripe bananas
2/3 cup self raising flour (or use normal plain flour, and add a full tsp each of baking powder and baking soda).
pinch of salt
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp each of baking powder + baking soda
1 cup water
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
~ 1/4 cup walnuts, for topping
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a large loaf tin or 8 inch round cake tin.
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat. In a large bowl, mash the banana, then add the coconut oil, sugar and almond extract.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and water and mix well to combine into a smooth batter. Stir in the raisins. Spoon into your tin, then top with walnuts.
Bake for 40-45 minutes at 180 degrees, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Take care not to burn the walnuts! The medium heat should be OK, but keep an eye on them just in case and cover with a lid or foil if needed.