I've had one of the guys at work ask me more than once now why I'm not pursuing baking as a career when I love it so much. There's no doubt that I love baking and if you let me choose one activity to while away my time, I would most definitely choose baking. There was a point in time where I worked as an assistant pastry chef and whilst shortlived (because I decided to take on an office job), I remember the merry days of baking, icing and decorating cupcakes for hours on end and working with like minded people who were ever so passionate about food (and cake!) Those were the good times!
Well I'm coming up to my 3 year mark at work and whilst work is far removed from anything related to food, I'm still happy just to spend my weekend (or when I have time during the week) to get into the kitchen and do some baking. Fortunately, or not so fortunately, it seems the more stressed I am at work, the more inclined I am to bake. I guess the amount of baking posts you see on this blog is a good indicator of my moods!
Here's a recipe adapted from Carol Pastor's 'Simple Home Baking'; a gorgeous little book of cakes, cookies and puddings. Thanks Ang for your browned bananas - they came to good use!
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In a bowl, beat 125g softened butter with 125g caster sugar until creamy and light.
Mash 2 ripe bananas.
Roughly chop 125g unsalted pistachios.
Mix into the butter and sugar mix the mashed bananas, then gradually mix in 2 lightly beaten eggs and 1 1 1/2 tbsp milk. Split 1/2 vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds into the creamed mixture. Add 175g dark chocolate chips and the chopped pistachios. Lightly fold in 250g sifted plain flour and 2 tsps baking powder.
Spoon the mix into a lined loaf tin.
Bake for 50 minutes. The cake is ready when the top looks golden and feels firm and slightly springy to the touch. (J gets quite amused when I get around to poking my cakes but surely all you bakers out there do that too - no?)
Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
Slice into 2cm thick slices and enjoy whilst warm.
Every mouthful of this loaf packs a bunch with flavour. There's just the right mix of chocolate chips and pistachios - if you're planning to try this recipe, I encourage to adhere strictly to the recipe and you'll do no wrong. If eating this the next day and warming it in the oven/microwave, do be careful and don't overheat - you don't want chocolate smeared everywhere!