Relaxing at my cottage is often the only chance I get to sit back and read. Since reading cookbooks is one of my favourite things to do when I’m trying to relax (don’t worry, I read real books too) I often pack up the newest ones from my collection so that I can look through them from cover to cover at my leisure.
Most of the time I find my cookbooks at thrift shops or at Home Sense. Since I’ve (somewhat) cut myself off from buying new cookbooks, it’s always a lot easier to justify something when it costs two bucks. Also, you never know which ones you might find!
A couple of weekends ago my boyfriend plopped Nigella Lawson‘s ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess‘ into my hands as we were going about our usual Saturday hunt around our favourite thrift shop. Thankfully he wasn’t trying to hint at anything (at least I hope not) by handing me that book, and instead thought I’d like it because it was Nigella and well, it’s a cookbook. Turns out, he was right.
I love to bake even though I don’t love to eat baked goods. Personally I prefer savoury foods but for whatever reason I’ve always enjoyed baking cakes, pies and cookies since I was a kid. The cottage is a perfect setting for exploring a new baking book and testing out a couple of recipes because there’s really nothing else to do. Since there were a couple of ripe bananas in the fridge, I figured they were a good excuse for trying out Nigella’s recipe for the classic Banana Bread! Keep reading for the recipe:
What really caught my eye about this recipe is that Nigella includes rum! I’m always a fan of baking and cooking with alcohol because, well, there’s a splash here for the food and a splash here for you and voila! everyone’s having a good time plus it makes everything taste extra good. Here’s what you need to make this banana bread recipe:
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 ounces bourbon or dark rum
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
9×5-inch loaf pan, buttered and floured (or with paper insert)
Put the golden raisins (I used regular because that’s what I had) and rum/bourbon in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside from an hour, or until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid then drain.
Preheat the oven to 325F and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-sized bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine. In a separate large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, the the mashed bananas. The stir in the walnuts (optional), drained raisins, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, one third at a time, stirring well each time. Scrape the batter into your loaf pan and bake in them middle of the oven for 1-1 1/4 hours. When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the pan on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.
Makes 8-10 slices.
As you can see, I didn’t have a traditional bread pan on hand at the cottage but everything still worked out. Yay!