Benjamina Ebuehi grew up in a Nigerian family in London, and her interest in cooking began when her mother bought her a child’s baking book.
As she continued to learn and work her way through other cookbooks, she says, it was always the chapters on cakes that interested her most.
She began to create her own cake recipes, gravitating toward “putting flavors at the forefront without overshadowing them with excessive decoration.”
Her passion for baking led to an appearance on “The Great British Bake Off” in 2016, where she created a white chocolate and salted praline cake for the show’s Cake Week.
Now she has a cookbook, “The New Way to Cake,” which features her stripped-down, flavor-forward recipes.
Ebuehi’s vegan version of banana bread includes peanut butter for what she calls a “sweet-and-salty contrast.” She says her favorite way to eat this is “lightly toasted to crisp up the edges, with a generous spread of salted butter.”
“I believe that a good banana bread should be part of every baker’s repertoire,” Ebuehi writes. “This version happens to be vegan, which was by no means intentional. I do think this tastes better the next day (if it can last that long), as it gives the flavors time to mingle with each other.”
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BREAD
From “The New Way to Cake” (Page Street Publishing Co., $21.99)
- 4 small ripe bananas, divided
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons almond or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (175 grams) light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-pound loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, use a fork to mash 3 bananas. Mix in the peanut butter, oil, milk and vanilla; set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour the banana mixture into dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined.
Slice remaining banana in half lengthwise. Pour batter into loaf pan and gently place banana slices on top without overlapping the slices or pushing them into the batter. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing. Serves 6 to 8.
>> Tip: For added texture, use a crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth or fold in chopped, roasted peanuts before baking.
Nutritional information unavailable.