Arcimboldo’s Summer

Arcimboldo’s Summer
Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) was the master of these pre-surrealist paintings of figures formed of grouped objects (not always food).

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Banana Bread with Chocolate

I became fed up with the bananas in my kitchen spoiling before I could eat them, so for the first time in my life I've begun baking banana bread — just to use up the little yellow devils. (Actually, by the time I get around to dealing with them, they're mottled black and brown little devils.) I went through a large number of recipes before I found one that I thought was suitable, and then I tweaked it until I was happy with it.

Result? Banana bread dining pleasure. But the other day I had a devilish little impulse to tweak the recipe again by adding chocolate chips to it. However, being my snobbish self, I wasn't about to settle for any old standard chocolate chips... Instead, I went off in search of a suitably high end gourmet alternative.

And, to my delight, I found the perfect product right away — on the shelves of my little local Sainsbury's (Putney). There beside the mundane mainstream choc chips were these 70% cocoa Belgian dark chocolate beauties. Absolutely superb, and they worked brilliantly in the recipe. (As a more health-conscious alternative you can use organic sultanas, also delicious.)

I was really pleased that Sainsbury's had exactly the ingredient I needed, and the resulting loaf that emerged warm and fragrant from the oven is absolutely the Rolls Royce of banana breads. Here is the Betty Crocker recipe I use, although NB — I reduce the amount of sugar from two cups to half a cup (!). The result is still perfectly sweet and you'll live longer... And be able to enjoy more banana bread.

(Image credit: thank you My Supermarket for the pack shot.)