Monday, July 25, 2005

Bananas + Blueberries = Goody!



Revisiting another grand classic - Baking by Flavor. I'd bought blueberries for a bargain, and had a couple of bananas turning to that exact stage of ripeness where there's nothing you can do but use them for baking. Or make a smoothie, but the weather here definitely screams cake more than smoothie - SIGH!

It is a gorgeous cake - loaf - whatever. The very best (berry best??) blueberry muffin I've ever had was from miss Yockelson too, and had you accent the delicate blueberry flavor with nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. Oh my. This time, there was only nutmeg and banana doing the accenting, and I have to say, it's a marriage made in heaven. The dark, somehow caramelly taste of the bananas together with the slight acidity and flavor-burst of the blueberries is an amazing combo. Do make. Easy to put together and with a moist and delicate crumb. It wont be the last time it has visited my kitchen.

Blueberry-Banana Tea Loaf - from Baking by Flavor

9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan, buttered and floured (or sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray, but I don't have that)

2 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup fresh blueberries
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (In my world the equivalent of 125 g. - I think actually a little less, but the recipe worked fine with this amount)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, sieved if lumpy
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 small ones)

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Toss the blueberries with 1 ½ teaspoon of this mixture.

Beat the butter in a freestanding mixer for 2 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and beat for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, beat for another minute. (I used to think all these "1 minute this, 1 minute that" was ridiculous - surely I could tell when things were incorporated. Well, I might be able to, but the times I've actually followed these instructions instead of just going by feel, things have turned out lovelier than I have ever dared dream of)

Incorporate the eggs, one at the time, beating for 45 seconds after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas.

On low speed, add the flour-mixture in 2 additions, making sure everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Stir in the blueberries.

Bake for one hour, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cake rack, then CAREFULLY unmould. The loaf is very fragile at this point, so unless you want a puzzle, do pay attention to what you're doing.

Let cool. Eat. Drink tea with it. It's a tea loaf for crying out loud!

One of the things I've neglected to remark about this book is the index in the back that tells you just how to and for how long you can freeze many of these dreamy concoctions. This one will keep for 6 weeks in the freezer. So for all you blueberry-bush and blueberry-bargain people out there, keep this in mind!

WAIT! You need to see the picture from the other side too!:-)

15 comments:

Fanny said...

As you said it must be a marriage made in heaven. I love banana loaf, i love blueberries, so i reckon i love your cake...
I might buy "baking by flavor", it seems a pretty good book.
xoxo
Fanny

ChichaJo said...

What a yummy looking-and-sounding cake/loaf! I'm a great fan of banana bread but I have never had it with blueberries (probably due to the fact that they are hardly ever available here in the tropics unless imported). Your post will have to tide me over until I find some!

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah! - It does look yummy! Thanks for the freezer tips! I think I might try it this weekend.

FoodNinja said...

Wow. This looks very yummie. I love Tea cakes. I have started falling back into love with tea and the likes that goes with it.

Clare Eats said...

YUM!
I so want that cookbook!

Amy said...

This is my first time on your blog and I have to say, what a first post to read! Bananas and blueberries--they sound wonderful together and the bread looks delicious. Thanks for this.

Niki said...

Clare - I was looking at that book in Books For Cooks a few weeks ago, but it seems it is only available in hardcover in Australia, and it fairly expensive (~$75-$80). But it looks good, apart from the use of Amercian measurements and a few too many unusual ingredients we can't get here, which were the reasons which ultimately made me put it back and thing 'maybe another time'. I just don't cope with those vague cup mesures for flour (how can you bake by cup measurement. Baking needs precision and weight!), and things like 12 tablespoons of butter - who's letting their butter melt and measuring by tablespoons? I mean, come on?!
But other than that, I've been very tempted by the recipes that Zarah Maria has shown us!

Clare Eats said...

For that price Niki we would be better to buy it from Amazon! I saw it for $28.35 brand new hardcover!!!! if you send me an email I will email you the link cause it is to hard to post here.

Zarah Maria said...

Wow, so many new people here! Hi all, and welcome!:-)

Fanny - it is a lovely cake, and the book is fantastic! Have a look in my archives if you need more tempting to buy it, I've done several recipes from it and LOVED them all! Just took a peak at your blog and I really like the looks of it, I'll definitely keep stopping by! (as I also said in a comment on the blog...)

Chichajo - There's also a limited time-span here for blueberries, but at least we have them. And you know, it'd make a different loaf, but I'm sure you could substitute chocolate chips - in fact, my boyfriend was severely disappointed the dark stains was blueberries, and not chocolate... Heh! I'll be keeping up with your breakfast (and other) adventures!

Cathy - as always, you're welcome!

Templar - well, you couldn't go back to drinking tea and then not have anything to eat with it, could you!? Checked out your blog too, will keep up!

Clare - buy it, buy it! It's gorgeous! And I know, Niki's right, but I've really found it's just a matter of finding some conversions that work. Soon, you don't think too much about the different measures - it's like learning a new skill in the kitchen, which can of course be bothersome, but in the end, it pays off! (and Niki's e-mail adress is in her profile on her page (esurientes(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au)

Amy - you're welcome too! I never saw your blog either, but I'm happy you commented here so I'll now have a chance to keep stopping by yours! I'm thinking about joining your book swap, it's a great idea!

Niki - as I said just before, for me it's been a a matter of adjusting to the measuring cups, although like you, I still frown at it from time to time - it's just so much easier to weigh. Anyways, the butter I felt really ridiculous with, but then I measured out one level tablespoon, weighed it, and from then forward, went by that standard-measure, converting each recipe as I came to it and writing a little note. I'll try and put up some of the recipe's with the conversions I've made - she really should just convert it and make a metric-measure version of the book (hint, hint Lisa!;-))

- and Clare and Niki, not to tempt you or anything, but Yockelson has a new book coming out this September - I'm this close to pre-ordering it NOW NOW NOW!;-)

Pille said...

Hi Zarah Maria - that cake looks absolutely gorgeous!!! I'm disappointed with the blueberries you get in the UK though - they're all white inside and not blue at all?? I'm doubtful if I'd get similarly nice dark speckles in my banana loaf with these. Worth trying I guess..
Tak for opskriften!

linda said...

10 pounds of blueberries languishing in my fridge.... whatever will I do with them? This looks like a wonderful recipe. On the front of measurements, I use this guideline:
Butter

Each 1/4 (227g) pound of margarine or butter measures 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons.

linda said...

Oops, I typed the wrong butter measurements...
Every 1/2 pound of butter (227g) is equivalent to 1 cup or 16 tablespoons.
Sorry

Ana said...

Wonderful cake Zarah Maria! I'm going to make it. I love bananas and at the moment have some that need to be used fast... and I still have the blueberries. Thanks for this recipe.

Clare Eats said...

Oh NO, Oh NO, Oh No!!!!!!!
I WANT BOTH BOOKS!!!!! ahhhhhhhhh

You almost have me buying it on Amazon now! If the postage wasn't so bad that is!

Michèle said...

oh my, that looks so very good. I cant tear myself away.. My mouth really is watering!