Sunday, 1 July 2012

Loafing Around

Pane di Banane, Noce, Fichi & Fiocchi d'Avena
Banana, Walnut, Fig & Oatmeal Loaf

Wakey-wakey... rise and shine! It's Sunday morning again and there they are- the over-ripe bananas! There is only one thing for it- it has to be another little loaf- it really is the smartest thing to do- especially first thing in the morning, when you can eat it piping hot for breakfast!

I also discovered these truly beautiful, gigantic figs whilst checking out the offerings at our market hall yesterday and just had to have them! Especially as they were also from Sicily- what a treat! So the combination was already an easy decision for me to make... and a good one at that!

Once again, all that I did was to mash the bananas together- I had 2 of them, and whisk them into a smooth paste. I then added oatmeal and worked this into the banana until it had a nice, almost firm consistency. How much you are going to need is going to decide upon the size of the bananas, how soft and ripe they are and what kind of oatmeal you use... so just be brave! Banana bread is very forgiving... and so am I ;-)

To 2 bananas, I added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, about 1" of grated fresh ginger, a tiny bit of nutmeg, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of Stevia, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 1 tablespoon of baking powder. The baking powder soon started going to work and the mixture became light and soft and fluffy, which was great, but It needed something to give it a little more body, so that it wouldn't simply collapse after baking. So I added ground walnuts... just enough, to make the mixture firm enough to spoon out and into my baking dish nicely- it should not be as firm as a bread dough say, which can be formed in your hands- but also not soft enough to pour. There is going to be a little trial and error involved here!

I then sliced the fig into sections and laid these decoratively on top and baked it for 40 minutes at 350°F. As is usually the case with me, took it out to add a drizzle of honey before finishing it off for 2 minutes under the broiler... but that the best part of it- the darker, crusty edge- mmm! Again, this was a small serving- just big enough for 2, but you could make twice the amount and it should be enough to fill a small loaf tin. But whether large or small, the chewy, moist consistency and the cinnamon/fruit flavor is pretty hard to beat! A perfect little breakfast- even if I do say so myself!

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