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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Chocolate truffles & Holiday Spirit

Christmas is around the corner and it’s time for me to make some chocolate truffles!

This became a Christmas tradition with my brother. We would team up: I would do the ganache, multiply quantities by 2 (to be sure to have enough for all the chocolate lovers of this family) and my brother would come help me roll them in cocoa powder.

I think we both have a very sweet memory of these moments spent preparing this deliciousness in the spirit of holidays 🙂

The recipe is coming from this cooking book for children that we had (and still have at my parents place) – with a red cover and nice pictures for every single step.
We still love it!

Chocolate truffles

Ingredients
250g / ~ 8.8oz cooking chocolate
125g / ~4.4oz butter
2 egg yolk
1 packet of vanilla sugar (equivalent of 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp sugar)
125g / ~4.4oz powdered sugar
50g / ~2oz cocoa powder

Preparation

Cut the chocolate in pieces and bring it to melt it using the “bain-marie” technique: place the chocolate in a small pan. Take a larger pan and add water in it. Put the small one containing chocolate in the larger one, floating in the water. bring the water to boil.
Once the chocolate is melted, add the butter cut in pieces.
Once the mix is melted, take the pan out of the boiling water.

In a bowl mix the egg yolks, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar.
Add in the melted mix chocolate/butter and mix well.

Let the ganache cool down and harden in the fridge for 1-2 hours, until it is hard enough to roll with your hands.

Place the cocoa powder on a plate.
Shape the truffles from the ganache into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands.
The size of the truffles can vary depending of the size of the ganache you are using.
In the cocoa powder plate, move the truffle around until they are coated.

Put the truffles in a display tray and in the fridge to harden before serving them.

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