Good morning Blue Monday. Apparently this is a thing, today is when we all start to break our news years resolutions, miss the festive period and the weather is a bit miserable. I think the best way to combat this is of course… Cake. This fixes all of life’s major problems, right?
Once again the weekend has slipped by without me knowing and it is Monday already (whaaaat??). It has been a cold one here in the UK with snowfall across most of the country. Our share was pretty disappointing but I took full advantage of being able to justify curling up on the sofa and watch movies all day, which pretty much sums up my Saturday.
I wandered into the kitchen ready to bake my first cake of the weekend on Saturday morning only to realise our scales were broken. I dropped them on the floor on Friday and had totally forgotten. Part of me was of course gutted, I had planned to make this banana bread; but I was also secretly glad. It was so lovely to just sit and browse blogs, pinterest, instagram and twitter. I have found so many inspiring and wonderful blogs of late, I can literally lose so many hours going through them all. By the evening replacement scales had been purchased and I set about making my banana bread so it was ready for breakfast in the morning. So I set about making this and my goodness was it the perfect way to begin my Sunday.
Banana bread is one of my favourites, I often hope that we don’t eat all the bananas just so that there are one or two languishing in the bowl ready to bake at the weekend. My recipe for this varies, very much depending on what we have in the cupboard and my mood. Sometimes I make it pretty nutty, sometimes chocolatey and sometimes I get a bit heavy handed with the spices. Hence the name of this recipe being 1.0 as I fully expect there to be more to follow (I apologise in advance). This one, however, is what I made for a very white, cold and frosty morning. The maple syrup adds a bit of smokiness, the whole meal flour makes it a bit more robust and the chocolate is there because I love chocolate and there doesn’t need to be any other excuse. I find it really warming, comforting and soothing for soul (we have been back a week and a half and I am still missing home, the sunshine and my parents).
Let us not begin the debate of whether it is actually a bread or a cake and move onto things that are just more important the taste because at the end of the day this could be called banana-woccy-choccy-lala-land for all I care. This makes me feel better, it makes everything feel ok and fills the house with the most incredible, sweet smells (who needs their garden to look presentable anyway?). The joy of banana bread is just how moist and sweet it is in my opinion. I love how you can have a slice of it with a cup of tea, toast it with some butter for a perfectly indulgent breakfast or even enjoy it with a scoop of ice-cream if that is the way you are inclined, there are no rules. For breakfast I put a couple of slices under the grill for a few minutes and spread a bit of butter on and it was so delicious. The chocolate begins to melt again a little a warm banana is just the best. I have sliced the rest up and put it in the freezer, ready for a breakfast or a mid-morning snack, so you see there is nothing really more perfect (just make sure you defrost it properly).
So here it is, my contribution to beating Blue Monday today. Make this, even if you throw it together this evening ready for a breakfast treat tomorrow, it will be worth it.
Banana Bread 1.0 | 9-10 slices
- 3 or 4 Small to medium ripe bananas
- 125g Unsalted butter
- 80g Caster sugar
- 100g Soft light brown sugar
- 2 Large free range eggs, beaten
- 200g Plain flour
- 50g Wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180°c and grease a 900g loaf tin well with butter.
- Put the bananas in a bowl and mash them up with a fork.
- In a free-standing mixer cream the butter and both sugars (or you can use a handheld electric beaters or just good old elbow grease) until pale and fluffy.
- Once pale and fluffy add in the eggs slowly. Add in a little flour to prevent it curdling.
- Now mix in the mashed bananas, followed by the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and maple syrup until well combined.
- Pour into prepared tin and put onto the middle shelf for 40-45 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle come out with a few moist crumbs on.
- Once ready take the cake out the oven and leave it to cool in the tin on a cooling wire rack for 10 minutes then take it out.
- Cut it into thick slices and enjoy!