...That's how Sophie Dahl described her banana bread, when fresh out of the oven, eaten "with a lick of butter."She also said that she used to make it "in the fierce winters" when she "lived in New York and it was too freezing to do anything but bake."
We have nothing to compare with the snowstorm that's raging New York at the moment. But at the weekend it felt like someone had taken the little snow globe of Oxford, given it a subtle shake to produce a gentle powdery dusting of snow. The kitchen beckoned, as did the five black bananas in the freezer. Sounds a bit like the start of a horror film doesn't it? But actually it turned out to be just the antithesis.
I must explain. Dom's monthly Random Recipe Challenge that you can read about here, said that this month we could select a recipe book of choice. It was a toss-up between a few favourites, but Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights won. I randomly opened it at page 266 and 'Banana Bread'. I was a bit dubious that banana bread could ever be described as mana. But for the sake of the challenge, to use up the black bananas and because I didn't think Miss Dahl would risk her reputation by telling porkies, I was prepared to try.
You can find the (less than) Voluptuous Miss Dahl's Banana bread recipe on her website here. I can't print it here because it's copyright. As usual her ingredients were healthy and wholesome. Things like spelt flour and butter. I know what you're thinking, but butter is healthy. And her instructions were minimal. Just a bit of banana mashing, beating eggs and then combining everything. My kind of recipe. I did just adapt one of the items. The recipe asks for a cup of brown sugar. As we're trying not to use too much sugar but alternatives I only used half a cup of sugar, and half Maple syrup/honey mixture. I was worried that swapping all the sugar a dry ingredient for the other two wet ingredients may cause problems. I needn't have feared. It rose beautifully.
And the results amazingly are just as she described. Which is why it was speedily wolfed down by everyone. I must admit that I had more than my fair share. Especially when I discovered how well it tastes with a big dollop of Greek Yoghurt, freshly grated ginger, a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and the last drizzle from the bottle of Maple syrup.
Thanks to Dom's challenge I returned to a favourite book that I'd neglected of late. And I remembered a challenge I'd set myself a while ago, to try out each and every one of Miss Dahl's Delights...somehow on the way I got lost. So maybe it's time to begin again.