Winter is not a pleasant season that I look forward to anymore as I used to, in Kolkata and Bangalore. Winter is rather a dreaded season here when going out amid the bone-rattling cold wind sends a shiver running through my body and the chilly blast on my face makes me run for cover. Winter is yet to set in here with full force, but given that the previous year had witnessed very few sheets of snow, the weather forecast for winter this year is pretty rough with blizzard and frequent snow falls in the offing.
Of all the things that I hate most about the freezing cold here is the inability to stay alfresco, the stinging cold forcing you to bury under piles of clothes while barring you from walking in the fresh air or holding an outdoor picnic. I find it worse than the scorching summer afternoons of Kolkata when going out under the blazing sun poses an appalling affair, but despite the soaring temperature, summer does not confine one to home as severe winter does, not to mention a pall of gloominess enveloping the atmosphere.
With winter impeding the outdoor activities coercing people to soak in the warmth holed up in the cocoon of home by the fireplace, it is a great time to culture hobbies and arrange get-togethers at home, more frequently than usual. I have few plans lined up to utilize the captivity of winter to its best; one of them is fine-tuning my baking skill. Check out my space for more updates on baked goodies in the coming months.
Banana flavoured bakes are my favourite and after a recent thread on FB enlightened me about the usefulness of eating over ripe brown bananas, I have become fonder of it than ever. According to Japanese Scientific research, full ripe bananas with dark spots on skins produce a chemical called TNF which helps fight abnormal cancer cells. The riper the banana, the higher is the anti-cancer quality, a reason strong enough to include bananas in your regular diet. So go bananas with unbridled joy.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 1hr 20 minutes approx.
ü 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (600 ml)
ü 3 large bananas, mashed (ripe and brown colored)
ü 1/2 cup of raspberries (cut into halves and tossed in spoonful of flour)
ü 2 eggs
ü 1/3 cup milk
ü 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter
ü 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
ü 1 tsp baking powder
ü 1 tsp baking soda
ü 1 tsp salt
ü 1 tsp vanilla extract
ü 1 cup broken walnuts
ü 1 cup butterscotch or chocolate chips
1) Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
2) In another mixing bowl, beat together eggs, banana, sugar, butter and milk into smooth mixture. Add vanilla extract and combine well.
3) Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a bread loaf pan with butter and a sprinkling of flour.
4) Incorporate the flour mixture into the egg-banana mixture until no speck of flour is visible. Add broken walnuts and butterscotch chips. Mix evenly.
5) Spread the batter uniformly across the greased bread pan and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean.
6) Cool the bread down to room temperature before cutting slices and serving.