Random aside: A few people have reached my blog lately by searching for “Jeanne Bauwens”. This intrigued me, as I didn’t recognise the name myself. Turns out Jeanna Bauwens is one of the ladies in this Wayfaring Chocolate Guided Art Tour; in fact, she’s the one whom I hypothesised to be a murderer-cum-fashion designer. I’ve been giggling on and off ever since at the thought that a) the person searching is a Bauwen descendent who now thirsts for vengeance because I so needlessly cast aspersions on his/her relative, or b) the person searching is a primary school kid writing a project on Bauwen, and is now going to include a paragraph on the woman’s proclivities for practical neck-wear.
Some of you may remember that, a few days ago, I wrote that a simulataneous pro and con of being single is getting/having to eat entire batches of baked goods by yourself. I also gave you a recipe for a delicious Spiced Sesame Slice, which I cut into squares and froze for safe-keeping yet still managed to finish in the space of four days.
Well, folks, the creation below gives the sesame slice a run for its money in terms of sweet delectableness. And you know what’s more?
I pulled this Date and Banana Bread out of the oven at 11:30am on Monday morning.
By 9:30am Wednesday morning, it was all gone. That’s less than 48 hours.
And that’s just how I roll.
I think I’ll mention something that helps explain my high level of enthusiasm for this recipe. You see, I know banana bread is a staple for many cooks and bakers out there, and yet I’m absolutely not pulling your leg when I say I’ve never made one before. How is this possible, you might be wondering? (And even if you’re not, I’m-a-gonna-tell-ya anyway.)
Well, in my experience, every blogger who writes up a banana cake/muffin/bread recipe begins the post with words to this effect: “Today, I realised I had two over-ripe bananas on my counter, and I had to make something with them.”
This has never happened to me in my life. No one in my family is particularly enamoured with bananas, and so they were never a fruit we had lying, forgotten-yet-ripening, around the house. (Apples, on the other hand, I was always finding hidden in bookcases or fallen behind the sofa*.) Very occasionally I’d want to make banana cake, but there were never bananas ripe enough at the shops for this purpose, and so I’d give up.
Lately, though, I’ve taken to buying bananas simply so they’ll get overripe and I’ll be forced to make treats.
Turns out this was an awesome ploy leading to delicious wonderment. Enjoy!
Deceptively Healthy Date and Banana Bread
Adapted from a free So Good promotional cookbook called “Cooking with Susie O’Neill”. (Yes, the swimmer.) The original recipe used dried figs, not dates, and made two loaves.
- 100g dried dates, chopped (the el cheapo ones – no need to get fancypants with Medjools for this recipe)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tb ground flax mixed with 3 tb water for the vegan version
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tb olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup soymilk
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed (mine came to about 150g)
- Preheat oven to 180°C (375°F) and line and grease a 22 x 11cm loaf tin.
- Combine dates, egg (or flax mixture), sugar, oil, cinnamon, flour, and soymilk in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Fold through mashed bananas and pour into cake tin.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and firm. (Mine went for almost 50 minutes because someone called me at an inopportune moment. As you can see in the pictures above, the top got quite crusty. Honestly, though, I didn’t mind at all.)
- Enjoy with abandon. And then enjoy with even more abandon. I found that I liked this more straight from the fridge than warm-out-of-the-oven. The sweet moist dates, the undercurrent of subtle banana, the soft inner crumb… I can’t wait to make this again.
* Wait, no, those weren’t apples. Those were the pigs’ ears we used to give my dog as a treat. Apparently, to her, the treat was getting to play Hide The Ear#, not Eat The Ear.
# Maybe that’s what Van Gogh and Chopper were playing, and they’ve simply been woefully misunderstood by society?