It is madly snowing in Vancouver today. It is unusual that it snows in the city, only the mountains receive favourable dumps at this time of year. It has not stopped all night and all morning and I guess my son and I will be layering up to enjoy some snow fun making snowballs and snow angels later this afternoon. Right now I am craving comfort, snuggling up on the sofa with a warm slice of banana bread and a cup of tea while I watch the beautiful snowflakes fall.
My favourite banana bread is one that has a generous quantity of banana in it, soft without crumbling (but not wet), and a nice crust on the outside. There are literally hundred’s of banana recipes out there, and there is always an ingredient or two I don’t like in each recipe so I’ve created by own. When the cold is just too much you can give it a summery feel with coconut and berries.
It was a baking morning today. As much as it is beautiful to look out at all the snow-capped rooftops and trees, it is not at all inviting to step outside and my son was starting to get restless for some activity so he helped me. He had lots of measuring to do with all the dry ingredients and mixing all the wet ones in the well. This kept him happily busy for about half an hour, which is fabulous when you are a parent running out of things to do indoors… however as a precaution you need to know there will be lots of mess!
He was particularly delighted to see the final product and give it the first taste test.
Banana Bread (Serves 10)
oil or butter, to grease and non-stick baking paper
1 1/3 (200g) cups plain flour
1 cup (150g) wholewheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar/berry sugar
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (20g) shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs lightly whisked
3 large ripe mashed bananas
2/3 cup (160ml) organic virgin coconut oil (melted on low heat)
1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75gm) raspberries (frozen and broken up a little so not whole)
1. Preheat oven to 300 F or 150 C. Grease a 7cm-deep 100mm x 200mm (base measurement) loaf pan with oil or melted butter. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
2. Sift the combined flours and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, coconut and cinnamon and mix through so ingredients are evenly distributed.
3. Make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, banana, oil and vanilla and again mix well. Fold through the frozen raspberries.
4. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour and increase temperature to 355 F / 180 C for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 15 minutes to cool before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: It is quite a dense mixture so I like to bake it slower and longer to deliver a great result.
Other combinations I have tried are gluten-free four, banana, blackberries and chocolate and also banana, raspberries and date. They all seem to taste good to me.