I was in a total emo mood the other night thanks to my iTunes. A long scroll through my playlists and I landed on one that I haven’t looked at, much less played in years. It was a playlist that took me back to about 10 years ago when we were only ever truly alive from midnight every Friday and Saturday night. A time when we didn’t give a damn how much we drank and smoked or where (and when) we woke up.
There were songs that reminded me of random people who became your best friends for the night and songs that we would dance euphorically to until morning. We were invincible in our early 20s and we had forever before we had to grow up. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in my early 30s and doing the happy domestic family thing with The Captain and my dog.
But sometimes I wish I was 22 again.
Because it’s Friday, here is an oldie-but-goodie Chocolate Banana Bread recipe that I use to bake back in the day; usually on a Sunday evening after I peeled myself off my bed and in desperate need of a sugar hit. It’s so easy that it’s doable even when you’re at your seediest. At least this is one thing out of my youth I can revisit over and over again for many years to come.
Unlike my dancing shoes.
Chocolate Banana Bread with Cinnamon Butter
195g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
120ml canola or vegetable oil
190g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups of banana mash (about 3-4 small bananas)
100g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 170°C and grease a large loaf tin (mine was about 22 x 13 x 8cm).
Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.
With an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract for a couple of minutes until well blended.
With a wooden spoon, stir through the banana mash then add the sifted flour mixture and gently stir until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the batter into two portions then add the melted chocolate into one portion and stir to combine.
Add random dollops of each batter into the tin then grab a skewer and start swirling. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has risen and a skewer comes out clean. Ovens and tins can vary in each household so if the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil and continue baking until done.
Cool on wire rack then remove bread from tin. Can be served plain at room temperature but for something extra special, warm up a slice of bread in the oven until toasty then spread with some cinnamon butter.
Bread can be frozen or kept for a few days if well-wrapped or in an airtight container.
125g salted butter, softened
2-3 Tbl of light brown sugar, firmly packed (or to taste)
2 tsps ground cinnamon (or to taste)
Using a mixer, a wooden spoon or food processor, whiz all the ingredients up until combined and fluffy. Tip out butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up into a sausage shape. Twist the ends to secure and refrigerate until firm. Slice and serve with warm or toasted banana bread. Alternatively you could just serve the butter in a bowl.
*Bread recipe adapted from Joy of Baking. Can you tell I like my bread and butter? :)