Saturday, 21 December 2013

winter solstice and banana bread (with recipe)

Happy winter solstice, everybody!

The thought of slowly lengthening days and more natural light from now on is filling me with warmth and makes me want to dance around the room. I still wish for quietly tumbling fluffy snowflakes to carpet the earth first - because without the white sparkle of snow the winter landscape is as dark and lightless as a black hole. Currently the only snowflakes in sight are tumbling from the ceiling in my kitchen, in a form of a wooden mobile (plus these snowflakes in the social media). So I celebrate the promise of spring and summer in this longest night / shortest day of the year.

We are not going to spend Christmas in our home, but we still felt like decorating a little bit. And we baked a warming, yummy banana bread too. It is a really nice cake, and goes superbly with afternoon coffee - find the recipe right after the pictures!



Banana bread
with cardamom and dates

150g butter (or coconut oil) softened
225g granulated sugar
2 eggs
275g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
3 ripe bananas
a handful of pitted dates (chopped into small cubes)

a little butter (or coconut oil) to grease the tin
a small amount of breadcrumbs

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 170 C. Grease a loaf-shaped cake tin with a little butter (or coconut oil) and dust the greasing with a small amount of breadcrumbs.

2.) In a large mixing bowl whisk the butter (or coconut oil) together with the sugar. Add the eggs one by one and mix well.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cardamom.

4.) In a third dish, mush the bananas with a fork, and stir in the chopped dates.

5.) Now start adding the flower mix and the banana mix into the butter/egg mixture bit by bit, in an alternating fashion - like 3 tablespoons of flour mix, whisk together, 2 tablespoons of banana mix, whisk together, 3 tablespoons of flour mix again, whisk well, and so on until both the flour mix and the banana mix runs out.

6.) When all the ingredients are well mixed together, pour the mixture into the greased-breadcrumbed loaf tin, smooth down the top and bake it in the middle of the oven at 170 C for 50-60 mins. If baking in a fan oven, reduce the baking time. At about 50 minutes, check the cake by sticking a long thin needle into it (I use one of my thin knitting needles) to see if the cake is cooked through. If the needle comes out without any cake sticking onto it, then your cake is done. Tip the cake out of its tin,and let it cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! This cake keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container.


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