Tag Archives: Banana

The Perils of Sharing: Dried Blueberry, banana and coconut loaf

25 Jun

I am a sharer…. Ok I am often an over sharer 🙂 I think this compulsion comes from a desire to make people feel comfortable in my company and I really hate awkwardness. My sharing usually comes in the form of verbal diarrhoea, if I could force group hugs on people I would, instead I talk. I make self-deprecating jokes and even on occasions do a little comedy sketch, however my tendency to share doesn’t always connect. This disconnection occurred quite recently when meeting someone new at work. I was asked how I felt having my office so close to the Director, did I have to be really careful to be quiet and look efficient? I pointed out to my colleague that given I had no ‘inside’ voice being quiet was never going to happen. I went on to explain how the director is so focused on his work that I can tap dance right past his room and he would never even know. I then proceeded to do a little tap number complete with jazz hands…….. I was met with a completely blank face and I realised that my attempt at humour and warmth was clearly not translating well. My response, keep on talking at the person in a friendly upbeat tone until they capitulate. I am still waiting… 😦

Sharing morning tea

Sharing morning tea

Surprisingly sharing translates even worse with people I have just met in random public places. Recently I was standing next to a middle aged man at the bus stop when it was pouring with rain. He did not have an umbrella and I saw the rain literally stream down his face and down the back of his suit. In what I thought was an act of kindness and maybe even chivalry, I simply without saying anything moved my umbrella over a little so that he could get some protection from the rain. He looked at me peculiarly and I just smiled back at him and said you looked like you were getting a little wet. He didn’t respond but just shuffled a bit. We stood for a while longer cramped amongst other people waiting for the bus, not saying anything (serious self control for a person who abhors a silence) when a bus finally arrived and people started moving slowly towards the entrance of the bus. The stranger and I started to move with the crowd, I did my best in the jostling to try and continue to share the protection of my umbrella. He looked at the umbrella and at me as if I was clearly deranged and wielding the umbrella with a sinister purpose, maybe to steal his wallet or a lock of his thinning hair, finally he turned around and said’ I don’t want your umbrella’ and got himself lost in throngs of people before boarding the bus and continuously looking over his shoulder as if I might spring out and molest him with my spotted umbrella and charitable attitude.

This cake will encourage all to enjoy your generous spirit and even forgive you the occasional impromptu tap dance. I made a few modifications because of what I had in the cupboard and fridge. The cake was deliciously moist and had a host of complimentary flavours that made it a great mid morning snack with a cup of tea.

Are you a sharer? Would you have offered your to share your umbrella?

Dried Blueberry, banana and coconut loaf

8- 10 slices

adapted from Coconut and Cherry Banana Bread from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

  • 110 gms unsalted butter
  • 15 gms of crème fraiche
  • 4 small ripe bananas
  • 150 gms caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 gms plain flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ bi carb soda
  • 80 gms of dried blueberries
  • 80 gms of shredded coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Butter and line a loaf tin

2. Process or mash the bananas and crème fraiche together.

Banana and creme fraiche

Banana and creme fraiche

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Allow the butter to cool a while and then add the sugar.

4. Once the sugar is combined and dissolved in the butter, it should be a thick  mixture, add the mashed bananas and eggs.

5. Fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and coconut.

6. Finally lightly fold in the dried blueberries.

7. Spoon into the loaf tin. It will be a very thick.

8. Bake in the oven for 40-50 mins until skewer comes out clean and the cake has come away from the sides of the tin.

P1020031

Denial vs Delight: Banana and Nutella Muffins

29 Oct

Hallelujah bananas are reasonably priced and readily available again! Given the natural disasters throughout Australia this year there has been a bit of a banana shortage. When the price of a single banana surpasses the price of a single cupcake, it becomes very easy to convince yourself that cupcakes are the good option and fruit merely a less desirable luxury. Not that I required much convincing.

I found the banana shortage had the same effect on me that diets do. Whenever I try to diet I become obsessed with certain foods, usually those I feel I am being unfairly denied. I remember going on The Cabbage Soup diet when I was a teenager. The diet left me permanently starved and completely obsessed with food at the same time. One night after eating my cabbage soup, without even a bread roll to keep my appetite comforted, I went to watch TV in the hope it would take my mind off the unbearable hunger pains. Never before had I noticed how many food ads there were on TV. Suddenly food I usually wouldn’t touch, became the epitome of palate satisfying pleasure.  I remember that while on that diet my craving for carbs, chocolate and cheese became entirely overwhelming and psychologically intrusive. I think I only lasted a couple of weeks before I cracked and consumed my own body weight in chocolate bars and brie. The psychological scars of that level of denial will probably last a life time. 😉

While not usually immediately drawn to banana recipes, I found myself during the banana shortage stumbling upon recipes using bananas at every turn. At the same time I was also craving the banana creations I had made in the past. Just like the food ads on TV during those horrendous food deprived days, bananas seemed to be everywhere! Given the decrease in the cost of bananas and a pregnant friend imploring me to bake some more goodies for the sake of her unborn child, I decided to make an old favourite with a bit of a twist.  The muffin recipe is from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson, which is my baking go to guide and encyclopaedia. I have made some slight changes, to give a lighter texture. I added the Nutella because chocolate to me is always a welcome addition to any baked delight and in this molten form, it is also a little surprise for the eater.

Have you ever been on a strict diet? Did you stick to it?

Molten Chocolate centres

 

Banana Muffins

Inspired by Nigella Lawson

9 Muffins

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 3 heaped tablespoons clear, runny honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • Nutella

1. Melt butter, honey and vanilla essence in a pan over the stove.

2. Sift flour bi carb and baking powder into a large bowl. Add cinnamon and salt.

3. Mash bananas in a separate bowl

4. Add melted butter mixture to bananas

5. Add the banana and butter mixture to the flour with the two tablespoons of milk.

6. Mix until just combined.

7. put 1 spoon of mixture into muffin cases and then put in 3/4 tsp of Nutella into each muffin case and top with more muffin mix.

8. Bake for 20 mins or until golden and skewer comes out clean.

Baked Loveliness

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