There are a plethora of books coming out right now before Christmas and I am quite excited about a lot of the cooking ones. I read them like normal books, do you as well? I saw the lovely Maeve O'Meara interviewed on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) Morning Breakfast show this week, who you probably know as the host of the SBS global cooking shows called Food Safari, which are so interesting. Her latest book based on her recent popular SBS TV series called Food Safari: Earth, Food, Water also looks like a winner. It was a very good interview as well. I am hoping that Santa might come good with a copy of either book this year, and so I will need to be very selective with what I buy for myself. Sadly I don't think Santa reads my blog to take the hint, ha, ha.
Back to the cake in hand. After demolishing two slices of this freshly baked and still warm Banana loaf, Mr. HRK said to me that this is a keeper. Noted my dear, and I will be baking it again. It's a cinch to make and also too easy to eat.
Banana, Chocolate and Walnut Loaf recipe from "Flour and Stone"Ingredients:
200 g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
200g self-raising flour, sifted
3 (about 300g total) ripe bananas, peeled and cut into small pieces
200g good quality dark chocolate (at least 60 per cent cocoa), roughly chopped
100g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons demerara sugar, for topping
Preheat your oven to 170 deg. fan forced.
Grease a large loaf tin with butter, dust with flour and set aside. To play safe you might like to line it with baking parchment.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars (not the demerara) on a medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Use a hand held mixer if you are happy to do that.
Beat the eggs lightly with a fork and add gradually to the butter mix.
Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl. Fold the sifted flour through the mixture in the bowl, then add the banana, the chocolate and the walnuts. Mix well.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. The sugar gives it a crunchy, crackling, glistening topping. Or you could ice it if you wish.
Bake for 30 minutes at 170 deg. fan forced, and then reduce the temperature to 160 deg. fan forced and bake for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave in the tin to completely cool. It is much easier to slice up when cool. However if you really want to serve it warm with the chocolate still a bit gooey, just leave it for 30 minutes.
The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. In our warm weather though I would keep it in the refrigerator. I cut a few slices off as Mr. HRK was hovering to taste it, and it was morning tea time, and I have frozen most of it for later. To freeze it, you could also cut it into slices, individually wrap the slices, and put it in the freezer for later.
Any other nuts can be substituted for the walnuts, in particular hazelnuts if you have them. Toasting the walnuts first makes a big difference to the taste and texture of the nut. I find that walnuts can often make a cake taste a little stale and aged, however toasting them transforms the flavour. It's such a great nut to use, and quite soft.
I always have some frozen ripe bananas in the frig ready to use for cooking. I prefer to freeze them without the skins in a ziplock bag however it doesn't matter.