Cake

Banana Bread

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Sometimes, you buy bananas. They are a bit green because you know bananas ripen when you are not looking, you figured with when it is that green it can’t ripen too much without you noticing.

banana
Image courtesy Reddit. You see it is a universal problem. Though I’d say the banana needs to be black in that last panel, but that I can’t complain since I am too lazy to draw my own comic.

It did anyway. It turned almost brown when you blinked.

And you say, JOKES ON YOU WHAT I REALLY WANTED IS A BANANA BREAD!!!!

Hell yes.

I love banana bread. Who doesn’t? I used to get this banana bread that is half marbled chocolate cake. It was wonderful. It was one of the highlights of my work days. It is also one of those really easy thing you require almost no trick.

I know people sometimes add nuts into their banana bread. Most of the time it is mini chocolate chips. I *COULD* do the chocolate cake and marble it into the banana bread but I am also a lazy person. So this is the perfect recipe for me.

Do you know what cocoa nibs are? I sure didn’t. Never heard of it, didn’t even know it exists. I mean, I vaguely know where chocolate comes from. You have these cacao beans, and, er magic happens. There is probably heat involved. Then you have cocoa butter? …which  is the good stuff that is important in chocolate, good chocolate have more of it. And then, hm, nope. No idea. Ya I am not going to pretend I know how chocolate happens. So according to the internet, cocoa nibs are cracked bits from the bean once they have been roasted, they are like 50% cocoa butter and 50% cocoa powder. You can get them and put them in your baking, they are apparently great in savoury dishes as well! They are sort of vaguely nutty in texture so if you don’t like having crunchy bits in your banana bread, you can skip this and miss out in life. Just sayin’. I soaked these cacao nibs in the water for 10-15 mins to soften them up, you can skip that as well. All depending on what texture you like. Mind you, if you do soak them, then measure the weight by after the soak.

I have no other tip for you. Let’s get straight into the recipe.

Jon’s Brilliant Banana Bread from the Hotel Chocolat: A New Way to cook with Chocolate book (I dunno who Jon is but thank you Jon for this!)
Makes one 1kg Loaf

115g Room temperature Butter, plus more for greasing
225 Granulated Sugar
280g All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
30g Roasted cocoa nibs
2 Eggs
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Very Ripe, almost blackened Banana

Preheat at 180°c/356°f

1. Soak the cocoa nibs for 10-15 mins. Discard the water, or, add that to your coffee, tea, etc.

2. Peel and mash that banana.

3. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. The mixture should look almost white, and stick to the bowl and not your beaters. I have mentioned many times how my house is so cold I never seem to get butter soften properly even after hours so this is always a bit tricky to identify whether or not my butter and sugar is done creaming.

4. Add your egg one by one into the butter sugar mixture. Add banana mash. Mix some more.

5. Combine your dry ingredient and sift into the batter. Fold in the cocoa nibs. Mix till combined and take care not to over mix.

6. Grease your loaf pan with butter, then dust flour into the pan. Shake off any excess.

7. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Take it out and cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for another 20 minutes. To check if it is done, insert a skewer to see if it comes out clean. If there is still raw dough, put it back into the oven with the foil for another 5 minutes.
**do keep a close eye on the loaf, the first time we made it it was very wet and took an additional 15 minutes before it was fully cooked. The second time it only took 5. If you bake for too long the loaf will come up a bit dryer than you like.

And I leave you with this awesome extract:

“Yes, sir, but the Librarian likes bananas, sir.”
“Very nourishin’ fruit, Mr Stibbons.”
“Yes, sir. Although, funnily enough it’s not actually a fruit, sir.”
“Really?”
“Yes, sir. Botanically, it’s a type of fish, sir. According to my theory it’s cladistically associated with the Krullian pipefish, sir, which of course is also yellow and goes around in bunches or shoals.”
“And lives in trees?”
“Well, not usually, sir. The banana is obviously exploiting a new niche.”
“Good heavens, really? It’s a funny thing, but I’ve never much liked bananas and I’ve always been a bit suspicious of fish, too. That’d explain it.” –Terry Prachett, Hogfather

 

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