I remember when Chloe (aka Alice)…ok the cat’s out of the bag… but now that I’m trying to morph into (or go back) to Chez Chloe – and obviously I haven’t been shy with using my entire name… and it’s not Chloe… you could guess where I may have garnished the name…. Chloe was about two and a half. Yes, we still slept in the same bed. Each morning, she would ever so gently nudge my cheek with her chubby little index finger. She glowed as my eyes opened and I whispered, “Good morning sunshine.” It was another glorious day to be alive, to be loved and to be entertained or provide the entertainment. Many mornings were spent in the kitchen baking, making pancakes and singing. Chloe’s singing and dancing always required an audience. I was happy to oblige. They were sweet days I remember with utter fondness.
Fast forward eleven years. I gently tap on Chloe’s door. I wait. No sound. I peek in the room to see a balled up floral flannel comforter hiding a full size body with a flash of blonde hair streaking from the edges. If I dared to tap her gently and whisper “Good Morning Sunshine,” I’d risk a good slap upside the head. So instead I turn on the lights, shine them directly at her head and grab only a wad of foot. “Hey you, good morning,” I say as I squeeze her foot and deftly step away. I try to maintain some sort of civility, express a mother’s love and protect myself. This is repeated in ten- minute intervals until she rises from the dead.
The first words I heard this morning when she made it to the kitchen for something other than eating breakfast, were “God, those look disgusting.” and she was referring to these beauties. Of course you and I know what’s on the agenda.
“What? Disgusting?” I said. “They are perfect and beautiful. And you will be eating them later this afternoon.” As soon as I could see them beginning to speckle, I knew they had moved past the point of consumption for Chloe’s peanut butter & banana fix. So I’ve waited patiently for the day they were close to staining my counter with banana stickyness. Side note- if this happens and you can’t make banana bread that very day… peel them and put them in a baggie in the freezer. They brown but are still good for baking. Or before they are sticky sweet, peel and freeze for smoothies.
But I made time today and I always start from Nigella Lawson’s banana bread recipe from the How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. I have the British version which is metric and I prefer it. Google the conversions until I put up a chart or even better if you do like to bake, GET A SCALE! It’s so worth it. Today I wanted to tweak the recipe a little and added coconut and chopped up dark chocolate.. and skipped the nuts. Even though they don’t give me gas anymore. That has been one bonus of getting older. (Did I just write that out loud?)
I also like baking it in a round cake tin and dusting with powdered sugar.
- 175 g all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 30 g shredded coconut
- 100g chopped chocolate ( I use dk but use what you like… )
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 100g sugar
- 50g brown sugar (or all white if you don’t have brown on hand)
- 2 large eggs
- 3-4 sticky over ripe bananas (about 300g without skin)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp rum
- optional 60g walnuts (hell the coconut and chocolate are optional but hello…. they taste really good!)
- Loaf tin buttered and floured or I like to use a 10×2 cake tin… and I line with baking paper and a little butter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F or 170°C.
- Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl and combine.
- Mix melted butter and sugar and beat till well-blended.
- Beat in eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas.
- With a wooden spoon or rubber scraper add vanilla, coconut and chocolate.
- Add flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
- Scrape into loaf pan or cake tin and bake for 1-1 ¼ hours.
- Cake should brown lightly. Done when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack.
- Serves 8-10…..( or 4 if they each have 2-3 pieces)
Batter in the tin and tapped lightly on the counter….
Heading into pre-heated oven.
Just out of the oven… cooling on the rack..
Peeling off the parchment paper… it’s guaranteed success.
And a little sugar dusting to make it sweet and pretty…
Ok and just to check in on the photo progression- I have made banana bread before (cough, sputter)… if you remember this…it was a loaf and done with my iphone..not my spiffy Nikon D80. Granted it still tasted damn good.