Today's entry is about bread, but first off I need to tell you about this amazing surprise that I got today. Sandeep's friend Sasanka gave me the most amazing gift ever. It was a fancy KitchenAid stand mixer that I have been dreaming of ever since I laid my eyes on one of them. I can't thank him enough. I think I spent most of my morning just staring at it in complete stupor. Just look at it; it looks like a Greek God. I'm just in love with it.
OK, moving on against my will. I have no idea why banana walnut cake is called banana walnut bread; this is the same reason why I don't understand why this is called a bread. According to me this should be called a cake. It's fudgier than cake but that does not give it the right to be self-proclaimed bread. It's almost like fudgy banana brownie without the nuts but its not chewy; I hope I'm making some sense here. It's dense but it's not rich. It's easy to eat and does not stick to the teeth. I don't know why my blog entries have so many rhymes these days; I am not doing this purposely. So this is a bread that I like to call cake, I mean, it's all up to you, but it's definitely amazing and I can't even be modest here, and I hate being not modest here, but I can't really be modest here; it's really really good! One thing I hate about American or European recipes, and that happens with most cakes and bakes, you can hardly seem to find the ingredients in India. Like buttermilk in India, would be that salty drink you would have after a heavy lunch, but over here it seems to be the water left over after churning butter and it's packaged here and sold here by the millions. Not to sound rude but America just has way too much choice; unbleached all-purpose flour, could just be really good quality maida. And why do you need buttermilk, when you can use yogurt. So, this does not mean that you go ahead and substitute yogurt for buttermilk in any recipe you see, but just make wise choices. I honestly get really annoyed when I look through a recipe and I know have 99% of the stuff and there's that one thing like, cream cheese or buttermilk or mascarponne and I just cannot cook that particular dish. My Amma is the queen of substitutions and she always taught me that there's always a way to substitute something in a recipe. This also helped me to understand that cooking is not about always following the rules but breaking them intelligently. So here is my recipe for chocolate banana marble bread without the buttermilk:
- 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup of yogurt (make sure it's creamy and not broken up, thick-set dahi would be perfect)
- 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups of regular flour (maida)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
- 4 tbsps of boiling water
- 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter or 3/4 cups of butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten (in India I always wondered what large eggs were and I'd always think the Indian eggs were small and add an extra egg, but when I came here I realized that large eggs are just the same as our regular eggs. I thought chicken eggs were the same size.)
- Puree the bananas in a food processor or blender and measure 1 cup of the paste. I know there will be a little bit of a waste of banana paste. (There I go again with the rhymes; I'm sorry about them. They were not intentional.) But you can always find room in your stomach for banana paste; it's not that bad
- Add yogurt and vanilla extract to the puree and mix well.
- Then use a fine mesh strainer to sift the flour and add the baking soda and flour to the banana mixture.
- Sift cocoa powder into a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the cocoa powder and stir till it forms a smooth paste.
- Place butter and sugar into a bowl and beat till the butter is very light. This will take 4-5 minutes.
- Now mix in the lightly beaten eggs, 1 tbsp at a time. This will ensure better mixing.
- Then add the banana and flour mixture, spooning it a little at a time and mix well for another 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer half of the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa paste to it. Mix well to combine.
- Drop alternating spoonfuls of light and cake patter into a prepared pan (The pan should have been buttered or greased. After which you should place wax or butter paper extends out on the two longer sides of the tin.)
- Spoon the mixture almost like a checkered board, filling it alternatively to the top and swirling it around once you've filled it to the brim.