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
1 cup AP flour
2 tsps. baking powder
8 tsp unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup 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 oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
Prep a loaf pan (4 1/2” x 7 1/2”) with butter and flour.
In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars with a paddle attachment until thoroughly combined.
Next, add eggs, bananas and vanilla and mix, scraping down sides until mixture is well blended.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Add flour mixture to wet mixture, mixing just until combined then remove from standing mixer, being careful not to overmix.
Stir in chocolate chips by hand and pour into prepared pan.
Bake about one hour or until bread is set when tested with a skewer.
Let cool 5-10 minutes before turning out of pan and serve in thick slices, preferably with coffee.