Kitchen Therapy


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Flour Free Banana and Coconut Pancakes

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Along with Banana Bread, I went through a phase where I tried many Banana Pancakes of the healthy variety. These were my favourite. I make them often because they are gluten free and nut free. The ingredients are few and the recipe from the The Green Kitchen Cookbook is simple and can be found easily on the internet or you can see it below. I’m keeping this post simple because everything about this dish is quick and easy. Best of all they are delicious!

FLOUR FREE BANANA & COCONUT PANCAKES
adapted from THE GREEN KITCHEN Cookbook by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

3 ripe bananas
6 eggs lightly beaten
50g or 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
150g or 1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon coconut oil for frying
maple syrup or yoghurt for topping

1. Mash the bananas with a fork.
2. Place in a medium sized bowl and whisk together with the eggs and coconut.
3. Add the blueberries and stir well.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a non stick frying pan over medium heat.
5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.
6. Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancakes when they have set and the bottom is golden (roughly 2 minutes).
7. Serve with extra blueberries, maple syrup, yogurt and an extra sprinkle of coconut.


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The Violet Bakery Cookbook Banana Buttermilk Bread

 

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I have a lot of cookbooks and while I may not cook from them as often as I’d like, I can confidently say that if a book has a recipe for Banana Bread, there’s a good chance I’ve made it! Paleo, Vegan, Choc-Chip, alcohol infused… I’ve made them all. Probably in the same recipe at some point.

This banana bread has been voted by the family as their all time favourite.
And they’ve eaten the many variations I’ve made… so they do speak with some authority!
It comes from the Violet Bakery Cookbook.
The bakery that made the cake for the recent Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan. It’s a book I’ve had for a while and never cooked from. However, the bunch of browning bananas sitting on my kitchen bench made this the perfect opportunity to get up and experiment.
With yet another banana bread recipe….

I made this bread twice. The first time with greek yoghurt and olive oil.
I did not have the 25cmx10cm loaf asked for in the recipe so I used a smaller tin, 23cmx10cm. The smaller tin added more height to the bread and even though I cooked it longer there was still some raw-ish texture under the bananas I had laid on top.

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The second time I made the recipe with buttermilk and vegetable oil.
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I bought a longer tin that the recipe calls for this time.
I followed the recipe and (obviously) the mixture spread more and cooked perfectly in the time stated in the book. Having said “obviously” I do need to add that sometimes even though the recipe is followed precisely, it still doesn’t work as it should! So it was great to see that this recipe did turn out as described in the book!

I loved the delicate, crispy layer of skin on the bread. The extra sprinkle of sugar before adding it the oven is no effort at all for great reward. It adds just as much to the aesthetics of the bread as it does the taste.

Verdict:
I have already made this recipe twice this week and I know I will make it again. I will definitely use the larger tin and having tried both versions, I think from now I will make it with the delicate extra virgin olive oil I buy for baking and cooking.
(Also, I can tell myself it is healthier by using the olive oil! I don’t care if I’m wrong ūüôā It makes me feel better so I’m sticking with it!)

*Also I need to add that I did not have dark rum in the house so I used my favourite Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey. I’m not a drinker however I love the smell of this bourbon!
*The recipe calls for 6 very ripe bananas, the rest of the ingredients are all measured in weight (which I absolutely loved) however the bananas are not and they come in such varying sizes, so this step does my head in!
Having said that… the first time I used 5 bananas and the second time I used 3. I think the lack of banana weight inclusion as well as the change in alcohol is testament to the flexibility of the recipe.
*I’m adding the recipe here only because it is readily available on the internet and will include the small changes I have made.

RECIPE from the THE VIOLET BAKERY COOKBOOK
In her introduction to the recipe, Claire Ptak the author, talks about her initial resistance to add banana bread to her bakery menu. Now, some years down the track, this recipe has proven itself to be one of the most popular items in the store. 
BANANA BUTTERMILK BREAD

6 very ripe bananas
150g vegetable oil (I preferred light extra virgin olive oil)
200g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum (I used bourbon)
2 eggs
75g cultured buttermilk or plain yoghurt (I used greek plain greek yogurt)
210g plain flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons caste sugar
butter, for greasing the tin

1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C (fan).
2. Butter a 25cmx10cm loaf tin and line with parchment paper.
3. Reserve half a banana for the top of the cake and mash the remaining banana well.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla, rum, eggs and buttermilk or yoghurt. Add the mashed banana and set aside.
5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Fold this into the banana mixture until just combined, then pour into your prepared tin.
6. Smooth the top with a palette knife or spatula and place the reserved banana half, cut lengthways, on top. Sprinkle with the caster sugar.
7. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake has set and starts to caramelise.
(The author states she sometimes uses a kitchen blowtorch to help this process along).
8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Finally… and most importantly…
enjoy the most incredibly moist, yet delicate, banana bread you’ve ever eaten!
Just as I am doing as I write this x


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Flour’s Famous Banana Cake – Recipe Review

Flour bakery banana bread

School is back for 2016!
Routines are slowly taking shape and the craziness of summer holidays is beginning to settle.
Each day now, I walk my son to school and as he heads off to class with his teacher, I, along with many other parents head straight to the little coffee shop tucked in amongst a few local shops across the road. The coffee is fantastic and I always order it to go, however most of the time I end up sitting at a table catching up with a friend.
It’s a routine I enjoy.
Today, after dropping off my son, I met my friends, we bought our coffees to go and this time we did take them away with us. We decided to walk them back to my place and enjoy the banana bread I made the previous night.

When my children smell banana bread baking they feel comforted.
They love the smell that fills the house.
However… they are also very clear that after trying many version of banana bread over the years their favourite recipe is for the¬†Banana Espresso Choc Chip Muffins from the Baked¬†cookbook (see photo below).
(I usually leave out the espresso but don’t tell them that, it makes them feel grown up!)

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Yesterday however, I had to break it to them that I would be trying a¬†new recipe from Joanne Chang’s Flour book.
The recipe is from her first cookbook, pictured below on the left.
I bought it a while back however after falling ill I couldn’t do much more than stare it for a long time.
There are SO many recipes I want to try however yesterday I had the bananas on hand. ¬†Being unwell has taught me to grab opportunities that come up, no matter how small they may seem and to not over think things. This may sound simple, however my nature has always been to deliberate painfully¬†over what to cook for so long that I end up making nothing. So with my new philosophy guiding me, I decided to make Flour’s Famous Banana Bread.

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It felt good to be making something, even if it was “just another banana bread recipe” ūüôā
The recipe can be found all over the internet, here is one link for this recipe from the food network.

Coming together over banana bread is not something new however there is a reason a lot of us do it. It is comforting and nourishing to the soul and it tastes so damn good!
The grown ups really enjoyed this recipe, however the kids can’t go past the choc chips in their favourite banana muffins. I get it, who doesn’t want chocolate thrown into an already awesome tasting treat?!

I didn’t add the walnuts to the recipe (there are too many nut allergies in our house) and I think it still tasted really good. I liked the moist topping that developed on the cake and the inside was surprisingly light. I would definitely make this again, it was easy to make and well worth the effort.

 


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Cafe Style Banana Bread!

                                                           
Love this Banana Bread!

It tastes just like the banana bread that can be bought in many of the nicer cafes around Sydney.
I add an extra banana to what the recipe calls for, it makes it moister and richer in flavour.
(The last time we made it with the kids we threw in an extra two bananas to what the recipe called for and it came out pretty wet and gooey, however by the next day it tasted fantastic!)

Don’t know about you but we always end up with mangy leftover bananas!
Since I’ve purchased the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook I actually get off on watching the last few bananas turn spotty and brown.
I feel like Nigella, the Domestic Goddess herself, turning leftover waste into something magnificent!

It is so easy to make, my almost 3-year-old son Jake, helps me measure all the ingredients and then I hand them over to him and he adds them in!
Seriously easy and delicious. The entire loaf is gone by the next day!

The Ingredients

270g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g peeled bananas, mashed (200g measures about two bananas and I throw in an extra one as I like it more moist).
280g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger (I never add this)
140g unsalted butter, melted

23x13cm loaf tin

Method

1. Preheat the over to 170 degrees celsius.

2. Grease and line tin with baking paper.

2. Put the sugar and eggs in a mixer and beat until well mixed

3. Add the bananas and mix.
  

4. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and ginger (if you are using it) to the mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the egg mixture. 

 

5. Pour in the melted butter and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over with a knife. Bake for about 1 hour or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  

ENJOY!