Thursday, March 20, 2008
When I was a kid I used to love drawing fruit. I honestly cannot count how many fruit bowls I drew, filled with apples, bananas and a bunch of green grapes draped over the edge. It was like almost like a recurring dream, this desire I had to draw fruit. In my high school photography class, I shot and developed nearly a whole roll of black and white film of still life fruit pictures. While I haven’t drawn one in a long while, the sight of a full fruit bowl still makes me happy.
For the last few days there were two bananas starting to look a little bit speckled in my fruit bowl. I immediately resolved to make banana bread, but I had to wait for them to ripen a little more first. It seems amazing to me that such sad and sorry looking bananas can be transformed into such wonderful baked goods. I’d had my eye on this recipe from the delightful blog Orangette for a little while. Molly seems like quite the banana bread aficionado so I just knew it was going to be grand. The plan became even more perfect when I picked up some candied ginger from the shop the other day for another purpose that never came to fruition. Chocolate and Candied Ginger Banana Bread it would be.
The recipe was so easy to put together, with fantastically rewarding results. I loved the tangy sweetness and jewel-like appearance the candied ginger gave. It’s truly a world away from the banana bread I was used to, perhaps also due to the cake-like texture. It would be wonderful with cream or ice cream for dessert, lovely taken on a picnic for lunch, or for a head start on your chocolate consumption, serve this delicious banana bread for Easter Sunday brunch. Don’t feel bad about it, Molly herself now approves of chocolate for breakfast :)
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Ginger
Adapted from Orangette
Makes 8 thick slices
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 115g butter, room temperature
• 2 ripe bananas
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups plain flour
• ½ cup hazelnut meal
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
• 2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well to combine.
3. Peel the bananas, and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork, then mix in the milk and vanilla extract.
4. In another bowl, sift flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the banana mixture. Stir by hand until just combined.
5. Stir in the chocolate and ginger until evenly distributed.
6. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tin for a few minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.