Banana and Blueberry Bread

While I was able to get off work earlier on Friday as a surprise mini Summer-Friday, I decided to bake this banana/blueberry bread for my husband’s birthday.

One of our very good friend was planning to bring one of her amazing cake at the party that evening and my cake would be just the perfect thing to wake up to after the big party.

Some cakes are perfect as “birthday-celebrating-blowing candles on” cakes and some others are perfect as “post-celebration-breakfast” cakes.

I had never baked banana bread and since I love it and had some left overs, it was the perfect occasion. And I decided to add the rest of my blueberries before they would turn bad.

Banana bread is a typically American thing for me. I don’t really know why but I never grew up with it around me and associated it with the U.S.

In my quest for the perfect recipe, I also discovered an interesting explanation on why Americans use cups for measurements. I always wondered why, sometimes slightly annoyed at it since I am used to see recipes with grams and milliliters.

I read online that it is meant to make measuring for recipes easier because you don’t have to weight anything. While this silly European person has probably no idea of what we are talking about,¬†here is a more interesting explanation: Back in the days, the average American farmer’s wife had very low chances to own a precise weighting system in her ranch and cups became an acceptable system.

Needless to say that it was the perfect breakfast treat paired with a cup of black tea and cherries.

 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder – optional

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder – optional

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions

1. Mix flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl for about 5 min until light and fluffy. The color should be noticeably lighter. Add 1 egg and allow to blend into the mixture before adding the second egg with the vanilla extract. Beat mashed banana thoroughly into the mixture.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 Celsius). Grease your loaf pan.

4. Mix the blueberries into the flour mixture and add then into the butter/banana one until combined into a thick batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 40 to 45 min until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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You said S’mores?

It all started when my friend Ellie talked about S’mores and she realized I had no idea what it was.
Next thing we knew, we were organizing a “date” to have me try out my first S’more.

I had bonfires when I was younger and we had grilled marshmallows but it never got to the level of sophistication of the S’more.

Here is the base for a S’more:
– Graham Crackers
– Chocolate
– Marshmallows
– 1 baby blow torch if there is no bonfire around.

The concept is quite simple: put the chocolate on one graham cracker piece. Add the marshmallow on top of it and toast it with the blow torch. Since the chocolate is right under the marshmallow, it will slightly melt and it’s perfect for the S’more.
Close this sweet little sandwich with another graham piece.

What I was not expecting that evening, is that Ellie actually did the marshmallows herself – yes it just blew my mind.
One round of plain, one round of chocolate and she also did a round of “boozy marshmallows” with bourbon. Here is her awesome blog and her bourbon marshmallow recipe.

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This is America – Sunday Pancakes

Sunday morning, I got woken up by a bad dream and I was also craving for pancakes.

I spent some time in bed looking for the perfect recipe both on American and French websites.

I always need to read few different recipes to get a feel of it and then make my own.

I came up with this one:

Ingredients

– 8.8 oz / 250g flour
– Salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder = 1/2 sachet of “levure chimique” (in France we have ready made size sachet of backing powder and all recipes are going with 1/2 or 1 sachet)
– 1 sachet of vanilla-flavored sugar (also a very French cooking thing) which is the equivalent of 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 11.8 oz / 37.5 cl milk
– 2 oz / 50 g butter

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, levure/backing powder, sugar & vanilla extract (or sucre vanillé).

2. In 2 other different bowls, separate the yellow and the white of the eggs. Mix the milk with the yellow of the eggs. Add this mix slowly to the first bowl. The trick is to mix slowly to keep it lump free as much as possible.

3. Add to this mixture the melted butter and mix well.

4. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and whisk them with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
Fold them gently into the mixture.

5. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium to low heat; brush griddle lightly with oil. Drop batter by generous 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle, the pancake will naturally takes its form on its own.

Cook until bubbles form on tops of pancakes and bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden brown on bottoms, about 2 minutes.

To keep them all warm, put them in low heated oven once they are cooked.

Enjoy with maple syrup, fruits such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and also with some Nutella.

I tried other recipes before but didn’t really succeeded. This one turned out to make delicious & not too heavy pancakes.

I would encourage everybody to try it out!

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