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Hi and welcome to Love and Bistros! A place to write about baking, travel, and living healthy. I have a major sweet tooth but I attempt to stay healthy in between desserts!
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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

When I start looking for recipes to bake, I try and keep in mind what my Princess’ favourite treats are. These include cupcake frosting (just the frosting), mini cupcakes, lemon loaf, ginger-molasses cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, and this undeniably delicious chocolate-chip banana bread. She enjoys it without chocolate too, but I like the addition of chocolate in anything and this time I added semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mix.

There are so many different versions of banana bread that you should definitely check out: Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Bread, Simply Recipe’s Bread, The Hungry Housewife’s Ultimate Bread, or even Not Quite Nigella’s Banana Bread Round-Up with 79 recipes. It makes my head spin… is yours spinning yet? I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart Living and never looked back – it’s easy to make and always comes out perfectly!

Preheat the oven to 177°C / 350°F and prepare your loaf pan. This recipe calls for 1 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, but you can split it up into smaller loaf pans or even a muffin tin – just account for the baking time. I simply spray my loaf pan with baking spray, you can use parchment paper, butter – whatever you like!

I like to get the dry ingredients out of the way first so in goes the flour, baking soda and salt and mix it all together!

Meanwhile, mush the bananas – or better yet, get someone else to do it! Princess took on this role and made sure to over-dramatically announce the hard work that went into it. Yes dear, it’s hard!

In a larger bowl place the room temperature butter and sugar, and mix it until it’s nice, light and fluffy. I used a hand mixer, but this recipe can be done all by hand as well!

Add the two eggs and mix some more!

Now dump the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-egg mixture and stir just until combined. You definitely do not want to over-mix any kind of batter: this leads to a drier, tougher cake. Always mix until everything has just been mixed together.

Now, add the mushed-up bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract – and mix, mix, mix until combined again!

BEFORE adding the chocolate chips, mix a tablespoon or so of flour with them. This makes sure that the chocolate chips don’t sink in your bread, so that they’re evenly scattered throughout! Stir them into the batter. Instead of doing this, many recipes add the chocolate chips once the batter is already in the pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, evening out the top and bake in the oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes – until your tester comes out somewhat clean (chocolate will obviously be melted to it!). Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Stare at it. Smell it. Crave it.

Then turn it upside down and marvel at the goodness that just popped out of your pan. And try to turn it over. It’s heavy. I was worried that I was going to break it. Now let it cool some more.

I like to stare at my baked goods. Build up any cravings I might have inside. Marvel at what I just created.

And then eat! Bon appetit!

This ‘bread’ is so dense, delicious and moist! Best eaten in thick slices! The semi-sweet chocolate adds the perfect hint of sweetness and slathering it with salted butter while it’s still warm – it’s heaven! I ended up making two of these loaves and freezing one to save it for another rainy day. It’s so simple to make and totally worth the effort – and the perfect thing to do with old bananas! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
1 9″x5″ loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 4) mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

1 Preheat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Prepare loaf pan.

2 In a bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk.

3 In a seperate and larger bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined.

4 Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Toss

5 Add a tablespoon of flour to the cup of chocolate chips and mix. Add to batter.

6 Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes; or until cake tester comes out clean. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto rack to cool.

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Placki z jabłkam; a recipe from my mother

Polish apple pancakes

I have been craving my mother’s cooking lately; Polish recipes that exist in her mind and yellow tattered papers strapped together in an old binder. Food from my childhood consisted of naleśniki, bigos, barszcz and pierogi – polish pancakes, hunters stew, beet soup and perogies – just to name a few. Lately I’ve been feeding my daughter many new and different things, her taste buds have developed quite a bit and she’s exploring flavours, textures and food I’ve never seen her eat before. And I’m more than eager to feed her some genuine Polish food.

Placki z jabłkam translates to Polish cakes, and it’s not a traditionally seen as a Polish pancake either. These ‘placki’ are delicious. And yummy. And eaten warm sprinkled with powder sugar it becomes heaven on a plate. And my darling Princess can devour all her pancakes in one sitting, which is quite a success for a four year old.

apple slices

I’ve also been trying to cook and bake more with my daughter, which is something she very much enjoys. She likes helping with everything, and does a pretty good job with not only licking spoons clean but mixing eggs and dipping her finger in flour, thinking it was sweet like sugar.

Princess mixing in her French apron

Firstly I sliced some apples up, cutting out the cores after. You can use any apples you wish, today I had pink lady apples! Then, we crack open the two eggs and seperate the whites from the yolks. Add two tablespoons of sugar in with the yolks and mix it until pale. In the egg white bowl, mix until soft peaks form – you want definite fluff but don’t overdo it!

Mixing the batter

Then add a pinch of salt, 8 – 10 tablespoons of sour cream, and 100-120 grams of flour. Sounds crazy? It work, trust me. Mix it all up, and then add the beaten egg whites. Now – test your batter. It’s going to be thick, but remember, you have to dip apple slices into it without them breaking – if you feel it’s too thick add some more sour cream, just a little bit at a time, alternately if you think it’s too thin, add more flour!

Dip your apples!

Dip the apples and then turn over, making sure to coat the entire apple. Then on a frying pan on medium heat, add some oil to coat, and carefully drop the batter-coated apple onto it.

Carefully drop the apples onto an oiled up pan.

The pancakes will develop a beautiful brown colour – don’t be afraid of a little colour!

Beautiful brown apples pancakes!

See how gorgeous they look? They shouldn’t take more than a few minutes on each side, but it all depends on your frying pan.

Delicious and sweet apple pancakes!

And then very generously dust the pancakes with powdered sugar – it’s so scrumptious!! They don’t come out fluffy like a normal “pancake”, they are rather dense and so satisfying with the juicy apple on the inside. Trust me, these aren’t “healthy” by all means but are definitely a warm way to remember my childhood, or make new memories with my child.

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Polish Apple Pancakes; placki z jabłkam

  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced into circles (about 1/2 cm thick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 – 10 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 100 – 120 grams of flour
  • Oil (for frying)
  • powder sugar (for dusting)

1 Seperate egg yolks and egg whites into seperate bowls.

2 Beat egg yolks with sugar until the mixture is pale.

3 Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

4 To egg yolks add: salt, sour cream, flour and beaten egg whites.

5 Heat up oil on a frying pan on medium heat.

6 Dip an apple slice into the batter, then flip it over to coat both sides evenly. Place on frying pan. Flip pancake when it becomes golden brown, then when the other side is the same colour, take it off. Sprinkle with powder sugar and eat!

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