It was the end of the weekend. That time when the school and working week is rearing its head, everyone is (reluctantly) gearing up for the next day and a week of packed lunches is looming. The contents of the fridge looked sad and the fruit bowl was bleak - especially that clutch of fragrant, overripe bananas. I owed it to them to release them to a better place.
And so, in the spirit of pressing the 'let's get ahead of myself on packed lunches at least' button, I decided to bake - to bake some ever-popular Chocolate and Banana Bread - a sure-fire way to lift the packed lunch spirits at the beginning of the week.
AND it would be great for 'after-school/swimming-keep-you-going-until-dinner-time' snacks.
AND Hella was competing the next day in a school Aquathlon (a long swim followed by a longer run, sandwiched together by that most challenging of events 'getting dressed super quickly, under time pressure when you're wet from the pool' - not for the faint-hearted). We all know that the most important things on these occasions are -
- Being able to leave school early.
- Being able to leave school early and drive somewhere with a bunch of friends.
- Being able to leave school early and drive somewhere with a bunch of friends while eating cake - so bring on that Chocolate and Banana Bread.
And why should YOU grab some bananas and get baking this Chocolate and Banana Bread?
- It's so quick and easy - Throw it together with no special equipment or clever techniques.
- No fancy ingredients - In fact, with the exception of the ripe bananas, it's all store cupboard essentials ... and show me a home that can't rustle up 2 or 3 sad looking banana specimens at the drop of a hat.
- It doesn't over-promise - I'll be honest here, I'm not sure that this Chocolate and Banana Bread is a looker but oh my, it is utterly, completely, deliciously gorgeous. So I guess you could call it 'surprisingly good'.
- It keeps beautifully in an airtight container - but more on this later.
The bananas keep this cake moist and the dark chocolate chips (milk chocolate would be too sweet, I think) give it a magical gooey quality.
The recipe also adapts well to making muffins
I used regular muffin cases and the quantity made 12 muffins. They took 20 minutes to cook and freeze beautifully (individually wrapped in foil) as a very popular lunchbox addition.
And how did the Chocolate and Banana Bread go down?
Well, the girls did brilliantly in the Aquathlon and I'm sure that at least some of their success was influenced by Chocolate and Banana Bread fuelling. Oh and the orange quarters - thanks Mrs B.
The cake was also enjoyed after school, in packed lunches and for a cheeky breakfast.
And the only problem? It didn't even last 24 hours.
Note to self - make 2 of these cakes next time.