Friday, June 18, 2010

Banana Cherry Walnut Loaf with a hint of Chocolate served with a cherry compote - phew!

Well with all the baking going on in my house nowadays and me touching the big 3-0... I am realizing that exercising thrice a week is just not helping me stay in shape - so my next best option is to try and tweak everything to be a bit healthier!

Like Joey would say -
"Banana's - Good "
"Cherries - Good"
"Walnuts - Good"      
"Chocolate - Good"
"What's not to like?"

Well, I haven't been a fan of bananas truthfully and usually stay away from anything bananas - but looking at the plight of the bananas and abundance of cherries in my house, I had to finally take matters in my hand. I toyed with a lot of options thinking individual banana and cherry crumble cakes - but it was too much work and too much butter! Muffins - nah! I wanted to bake something wholesome that could accompany morning tea or coffee or be a perfect snack for the evening and not set me back on the calories - so I thought about baking a loaf  with the bananas and the perfect nut to balance this seemed to be walnuts so I decided to try my hand at baking a Banana and Walnut Loaf .

Now, I found an easy one bowl Banana Bread recipe which was the only way I wanted to go since it was 12:45am by the time I figured out what I wanted to bake - I thought I would tweak it to add the walnuts and that would be easy enough. When I breezed into the kitchen I realized  I had forgotten all about my cherries that were pitted had been marinating all evening in some balsamic vinegar and vanilla sugar. Well I thought I'd throw in some cherries into the recipe for an extra burst of vitamins... so well I was now going to bake myself a Banana Walnut and Cherry Loaf.

I got all the ingredients together and started mixing everything together but the aromas that wafted to me kept hinting to me that something was missing. Well luckily for me the flour had to be added in the end and so to enhance the butty flavor of the bread and to make it really wholesome I used some millet flour (naachni ka aata) in it to. I was almost done when I heard the baby crying - had to go to the bedroom soothe him and come back - the pan was ready and I was ready to pour everything in and poured in some batter and realized I had forgotten the baking soda in the process!!!!! Back in the bowl went my batter and I added the soda at which point I realized - what the hell - since I had already made a mistake - I can take one more chance - a hint of cocoa powder in this would make this near perfect for me coz I can eat anything chocolate and the batter was already looking kinda brown to me - so I quickly added this and into the oven went the loaf finally... so what came out was a Banana Cherry Walnut Loaf with a hint of Chocolate and even the hub seemed to get up at night and asked me why our room was smelling of chocolate and vanilla and all things nice (coz I had forgotten to switch on the exhaust in the kitchen and the aromas had wafted into our room :))!

So here are my ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas, smashed

      1/4 cup freshly pitted cherries tossed in vanilla sugar and balsamic vinegar       
      1/4 cup walnuts  
      1/3 cup melted butter
·     3/4 dark brown sugar
·     1 egg lightly beaten beaten
·     1 teaspoon baking soda
·     a pinch of salt
      1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nachni ka atta or millet flour - this really provides a nutty and roasted chocolate flavor to this loaf - I was more confident about using it as it added a beautiful full bodied flavor to my Biscotti
2 teaspoons unsweetened chocolate powder


Preheat the oven to 170C. Mash the Bananas and add the butter and mix well. Mix the sugar until well incorporated. Add the egg. Now add the flours+chocolate a little at the time. The mistake I made was to add the baking soda last but please add it and the pinch of salt before the flour. When the batter is completely mixed - just toss the cherries and walnuts in and mix lightly. Pour into a greased loaf pan and pop into the oven for an hour. After 30 minutes when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer - I reduced the temp. to 165C and went to sleep. I woke about 30 minutes after the oven had tinged and moved the loaf to a wire rack - and it was looking gorgeous!

Pictures have arrived!

I forgot to tell you all about the Cherry Compote - compote is usually defined as anything cooked in sugar so mine wouldn't be a conventional compote - like I said  I am on some kind of self-imposed DIET! Well, so I took about 1/2 cup of my marinated cherries (they just had drizzle of balsamic vinegar and vanilla sugar on them) and covered them in a microwave safe dish and heated them in the micro for a couple of minutes till they were a little slushy and syrupy!

You can sieve a bit of castor sugar on your cake before serving or drizzle with cherry compote or also make a tangy lemon syrup to drizzle over it! All these are great to make this look fancy but for now I am going to keep it simple since I am trying to watch my sugar! Please wrap in cling wrap and keep to retain its moistness.


Magic of Spice said...

Sounds really good:)

The Housewife said...

Bananas, cherries and chocolate make for a great combination! I've never used millet flour but it sounds like an interesting addition!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

This sounds so scrumptious with all those goodies in it! Lovely flavors. The compote makes it all the more special!

Ruchi M said...

This was really moist and soft - almost cake like!

Thank you all for the comments!

Gitte said...

Cherries,bananas and chocolate,three of my favorites. It's a win, win. said...

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