To curb lockdown boredom, many of us have taken to our kitchens and got experimenting with new and exciting recipes and in so doing, the world appears to have rediscovered its love for banana bread.

Banana bread, by no means the chicest or most refined of sweet treats, has become exceedingly popular during quarantine times, no doubt because it is comforting, delicious and most importantly, quick and simple to make.

And now, leading French patissier and P&O Cruises Food Hero Eric Lanlard – renowned for being the cake maker of choice for the likes of Madonna and the Beckhams – has devised the ultimate banana bread recipe.

This delicious yet surprisingly simple recipe will satisfy all sweet tooth cravings and is the perfect treat for you and your family to enjoy this Bank holiday weekend.

Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

• 140g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
• 140g golden caster sugar
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 140g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 2 overripe bananas, mashed, plus one ripe banana for decoration (optional)
• 100g roasted walnuts
• 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
• 1 tbsp of apricot jam (heated with a splash of water)

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas 4.
2. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
3. Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add 2 large beaten eggs with a little flour.
4. Fold in the remaining flour, able 1 tsp baking powder, two mashed bananas, two tsp of vanilla bean paste, and the roasted walnuts.
5. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins until the skewer comes out clean when you prod it into the cake.
6. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove it and put it on a wire rack. Once cooled, brush with a hot apricot jam glaze.

Visit pocruises.com/introducing-iona/local-food-heroes/recipes for more recipe inspiration.