- Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a small (450g) loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl with a electric whisk until light and fluffy for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla, beaten eggs and mashed banana and mix well. Gently fold in baking powder and bicarb followed by the flour, a tablespoon at a time until well incorporated. Lightly stir through the chocolate and the almonds if using then finally add a little of the water if the mixture is too thick. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around 50 minutes until risen and golden, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
For an extra sweetness or caramel twist. I sprinkle some brown sugar on the bottom of the tin before I spoon the mixture in so when you turn it out its lovely and caramely and adds a little extra crunch.
If you would like an extra bit of crunch, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant, about 4 to 6 minutes, taking care to not let them burn. They are now ready to add to the cake mixture.