I've been thinking a lot about home lately. In the past six months, I've lost two places that felt as close to me as flesh and blood...places where I laughed and cried, baked and shared meals, grew and dreamed. More importantly, these were places I've experienced so many important moments with family and close friends that, without those loved ones attached, are now like hollowed out shells of the soulful, vibrant, storied homes they once were.
With time, I've come to realize I still have all kinds of homes that feel stronger, more comforting and more closely-knit than any physical place. Despite some very great distances, my homes have deep roots, walls as supportive as steel, endless laughter, and you better believe they're filled with delicious food. But they're less of a physical place and more of a feeling that I can tap into anywhere in the world that has wi-fi or a decent oven. And yes, my homes are pretty much wherever my heart is.
So with the holidays approaching and my sisters too far away, I thought I'd share an easy recipe that always brings me home.
My sister Sarah lives in Australia, and she first introduced me to Bill Granger's food on a trip to his destination breakfast spot in Sydney. Famous for the fluffiest scrambled eggs you've ever tasted, we became instantly hooked on Bill's food, bought all of his cookbooks and now his Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is regular at our holiday gatherings for breakfast and anytime grazing as we like to do.
Simple, dense, flavorful and not-too-sweet, this breakfast cake is my ideal partner to a morning cuppa and makes an easy DIY holiday gift if you're so inclined. Here is his recipe with a few tweaks, from my home to yours.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
adapted from Chef Bill Granger
- 250 grams plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 125 grams unsalted butter (softened)
- 125 grams organic white sugar
- 125 grams dark brown sugar
- 4 bananas (ripe and mashed)
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 grams dark chocolate, chopped or chips (I used Guittard)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350Â°F/Gas 4).
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate chips in a separate bowl.
- Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into a non-stick, or lightly greased and floured, 19 x 11 cm (7 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch) loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve in thick slices.