Sunday, 22 September 2013

Rainy Sundays And Old Bananas

    For me there is only one thing to do with old bananas.... Banana Bread!

I found myself with a few hours free today to catch up on admin and practice. I also found myself in the house with a couple of old bananas and the desire to stay inside out of the weather... All I could do was follow the path laid out leading me to a relaxed afternoon of delicious banana bread baking.

Today's sound track is Every Kingdom by Ben Howard.
An album given to me by a friend earlier this year that I completely forgot about! Turns out it is perfect album to dance around the kitchen to.

This recipe is loosely based on Nigella Lawson's Italian Breakfast Banana Bread Recipe. But has a few tweaks of my own. What I love about it is that it is all thrown in just one bowl.

Pre-heat your oven to 170degrees C.

In a large bowl place 3 very ripe bananas and mash with a fork. To this, mash in a teaspoon of vanilla paste (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract), a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt before beating in 150ml of vegetable oil.

Once combined beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, followed by 150g caster sugar.

Loosely mix together 175g of plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a couple of teaspoons of espresso powder before combining with the wet batter.

Then, fold through 1/2-1cup of crumbled walnuts and a handful of Gabriel Chocolate cocoa nibs (optional).

Gabriel Chocolate is a wonderful bean to bar chocolatier located in Yallingup, WA. Last time I was down south in Margaret River we dropped into Gabriel to try their range of yummy chocolates varying in cocoa percentages, all available to purchase and taste in store! When I was there I picked up some of these cocoa nibs - pieces of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cocoa beans which are perfect for cooking.

As I found a packet of these cocoa wonders lying in my cupboard I thought I would include a handful in this recipe! (tip from a friend)

Once all ingredients are folded through, pour the loose batter into your prepared loaf tin, sprinkle with a couple more walnuts and cocoa nibs before placing in the oven. Bake for 50-60minutes or until the cake is coming slightly away from the sides of the tin, and your cake tester comes out clean.

And that is it - Simple. 

If you can resist waiting even half a day before slicing in it is worth it. Otherwise serve as is, with a dash of butter, or if you feel like being really decedent smooth over a layer of chocolate spread - or mascarpone cheese with a dusting of cinnamon.

Happy Sunday!

Ingredient List:

150g vegetable oil
3 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
150g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/2-1 cup walnuts
Handful of Gabriel Chocolate cocoa nibs (optional) 

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