Blueberry banana bread

Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread


I have always been a bit of a fiend for a sugary crust. 
The specific crunch that sugar can create on a crust is perfection. 
Think back to that moment of bliss when you closed your eyes and did a little happy dance over that morsel you just popped in your mouth. 

I suppose it's all about the simple things. Simple things that have the ability to invoke a powerful emotional response.
Complex in their simplicity - these moments and experiences always have so much more going on that meets the eye. 

Unfortunately, it is oftentimes the simple things that are most taken for granted.
In a recent collaboration with Country Road, I had to stop and think about the simple things in life. 
The basics that move me. 

Baking in my kitchen is a staple to my happiness. Only then am I in my element with all my senses being nourished.
To smell a fresh loaf of bread in the oven, to breathe it in and have your heart warmed by it is a simple pleasure that I could go not without. 
In one breath, it has the power to bring my entire childhood back into the here and now rendering me overcome with memories long since forgotten and a lingering feeling of nostalgia that can last for days.

After much thought, I decided to combine my thoughts on these 'simple things' and share something truly special with you.
The Result?

A simple yet sentimental loaf of banana blueberry bread with the ultimate sugary crust.
The baking is a labor of love and smelling it will bring you untold happiness and, well, tasting? You decide. 
Create a moment of reflection for yourself.  

What are your simple things? 


Serves: 6 cooktime: 1h 30m

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas, smashed - don't have ripe bananas? Put them in the oven at 100 degree Celsius for 40 minutes
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup of blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 fresh banana sliced to top the bread.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Grease your bread loaf tin a 4x8 inch or 10 x 20cm

In a large bowl using an electronic mixer mix the butter and the mashed bananas.

Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Add the baking soda and salt and mix it into the batter

Add the flour and coconut and beat, do not over beat the batter. Using a spatula gently fold in blueberries. Be carseful to not break them as you will get a blue banana bread. Top the bread with the sliced banana and sprinkle the top with the sugar. This will result in a perfect crust.

Add your mixture to your baking tin and bake for 1 hour.

Allow cooling on your cooling rack in the tin for 15 minutes and then let it cool further out of the tin.

-Melissa

This blog post is sponsored by Country Road. All homeware can be shopped here.
 

caramelised onion, olive and rosemary focaccia

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Everybody loves a carb. You can say what you like but anything to do with fresh bread is more often than not, salivated over. Not to say I am not for a healthy option on my day-to-day eating, as difficult as it can be but this focaccia takes carb loving to another dimension. Get your running shoes ready because when this focaccia comes out of the oven you will feel as if you are carbo-loading for a race. You won't just have one bite. It will turn your kitchen into a delicious smelling bakery that will leave you waiting anxiously peeping into the oven to see when it is done. Luckily the bake time isn't too bad and once it is out, you will have the ultimate focaccia, to not only eat as is but to transform into any delicious sandwich after.  


serves: 8-10

ingredients:

  • 5ml sugar
  • 125ml tepid water
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 10ml sugar
  • 15ml salt
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 150ml cold water
  • 750g cake flour
  • caramelised onions

Topping:

  • rosemary sprigs
  • pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 large red onions, sliced
  • large knob of butter
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary

Instructions for caramelised onions:

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and sauté onions until translucent. 

Add the vinegar, sugar and rosemary sprigs and cook on medium heat until vinegar has been reduced and onions are soft

Spice additions:

Thyme, mustard seeds, chilli flakes

Red wine can be substituted for the balsamic vinegar for a different flavour.

Instructions for bread:

Preheat oven to 230C.

Mix together 5ml sugar and tepid water. If your water is too hot it will kill your yeast. Stir in yeast and set aside to let it activate.

Combine 150ml-boiling water with 10ml sugar, salt and oil in a jug.

Add 150ml cold water and combine with yeast mixture.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the center and tip in the yeast mixture. Mix to a soft dough adding extra liquid or flour as needed.

Tip dough onto a flour surface and cover with an upturned bowl and allow to relax for 5mins.

Knead thoroughly until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky at least 10mins. if you are using an electric mixer with a dough hook, put it on a medium speed for 10 minutes. 

Turn into an oiled bowl cover with a tea towel and set in a warm place to double its bulk. If you don't have a sunny window let it stand next to a warm oven. 

Roll out the dough and place on an oiled baking sheet.  Press firmly over the surface of the bed forming indentations. Allow bread to double in size once more.

Brush the surface heavily with olive oil, spread caramelised onions evenly over, as well as olives and rosemary. Season with sea salt flakes.

Put in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 200C.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden once cooled slice into soldiers. Serve with balsamic and olive oil for dunking!

-Melissa

 

 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/caramelised-onion-olive-and-rosemary-focaccia

banana bread

There is something so deeply nostalgic for me about banana bread. The minute I smell it, it takes me back to warm memories of my childhood, my grand parents and school lunch boxes.

I remember eating it in the holidays at my grandparent’s house after digging in the garden for worms with my grandfather. A great cup of sweet tea and loads of butter always accompanied it. Shortly afterwards we would go fishing with the worms we caught in his strawberry patch.

I was never short of a sandwich trade when ever I opened my lunch box and the wonderfully sweet smell of the banana bread would float out and kiss the noses of my friends. They would all lunge at the opportunity of grabbing a bite or a trade!

This banana bread is great because I have kicked it up a notch with a rich cream cheese frosting, which is silky smooth. You can always leave it off and just have it with butter. Plain or not this banana bread is quick to make and stays beautifully in the fridge for any occasion.


Serves: 6

Ingredients:

•   3 ripe bananas, smashed - don't have ripe bananas? Put them in the oven at 100 degree Celsius for 30 minutes

•   1/3 cup melted butter

•   3/4 cup sugar

•   1 egg, beaten

•   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•   1 teaspoon baking soda

•   Pinch of salt

•   1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•   1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped

•   1/4 cup desiccated coconut

•   250g cream cheese

•   1 tsp. vanilla extract

•   1/3 cup icing sugar

•   1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pecan nuts for decoration


instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°c

Grease your bread loaf tin a 4x8 inch or 10 x 20cm

In a large bowl using an electronic mixer mix the butter and the mashed bananas.

Next mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Next add the baking soda and salt and mix it into the batter

Add the flour to the batter and mix it in, careful to not over beat the batter.

Lastly add in the pecan nuts and coconut. Mix again just until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Add your mixture to your baking tin and bake for 1 hour.

Allow to cool on your cooling rack in the tin for 15 minutes and then let it cool further out of the tin.

Now lets get started with the cream cheese frosting:

Sieve your icing sugar into your mixing bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix. Do not over mix the cream cheese or it will go too soft.

Ice your banana bread and top with pecan nuts for decoration.

Enjoy!

-Melissa

irish soda bread

For as long as I can remember I have loved cooking shows. I remember sitting in front of the television mesmerized as a child and loving how each little bowl in front of the chef had the right amount in it for the recipe. It always looked so organized and perfect. I used to scribble down the notes, run to the kitchen put all the right amounts into a bowl, making sure everything was perfect and then pretending I had a cooking show. Then cooking or baking away. Never mind that every single bowl in the house was dirty after a simple chocolate cake.

Over the years its been a constant to sit down and enjoy a great cooking show. Picking up tips and tricks as well as great recipes. Trying them out and then adapting them to become my own.

This recipe is one of those. I was watching the Barefoot Contessa and simply loved the sound of this bread as it requires no kneading and is very little fuss, yet it is delicious and very more some bread. So true to my childhood I jotted it down and rushed into the kitchen. The only thing that has changed is that I use less bowls now!


serves: 6

ingredients: 

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 55g butter
  • 1 3/4 buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup dried raisins

Instructions:

Preheat your oven at 190°c

Grease a flat baking tray and leave aside ready for dough.

Sieve the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl.

Add the butter and mix when electronic mixer using the whisk attachment. Once the better is the size of peas, stop mixing.

Add your orange zest and wet ingredients and mix using your dough hook. Don’t over mix the dough.

Once everything is mixed add the cup of raisins and beat again. Don’t ever beat. Stop when the raisins are evenly mixed into the dough.

The dough will be a very wet dough.

Empty the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pull in together, the flip it over so that you are left with a neat round ball.

Take a sharp knife and make a cross on top of the dough.

Place the dough on the baking tray.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until you tap the top of the bread and it sounds hallow.