Pecan & Chocolate Burnt Banana Bread with Salted Caramel Sauce

You are probably sick and tired of hearing me complain about how busy I am at uni. Tough tatties. It’s my final year and I will cry if I want to. It will all be over in a matter of months don’t worry. I will be handing in my last every piece of coursework on Friday. Then all I have to deal with is the small matter of my dissertation followed by exams! PAH!

My oh my hasn’t this week just flown by! This week I realised the only cure to a bad day is carbs. Preferably fried. Preferably cheesey. Seriously. As soon as you sink your teeth into the greasy goodness of your carb of choice, all your worries will melt away. Who cares if it is bad for you. Your tastebuds sure don’t. I had a hard day at placement. Most people assume Speech and Language therapy is all about stutters/stammers. I will have you know that that is just a teeny weeny specialist area of the profession. My placement is at a Neurological Rehab Centre, and I work with a range of patients from those with Traumatic Brain Injuries to Stroke patients to those with degenerative diseases such as MS and MND. It’s tough but really very interesting.

Anyway, my tutor came to visit this week, and it was a bit stressful. We are told we aren’t being assessed but there is something about having both your supervisor and your tutor sitting there scribbling away as you carry out a therapy session, that makes you feel a bit uneasy. I felt like I had a terrible session, hence the need for carbs! On my journey home I ended up having a 20 minute wait between buses and I just so happened to be waiting outside Brent Cross Shopping Centre. I wanted to get a hot chocolate from this fancy stand they used to have there, where they melt actual chocolate and mix it with cream. Mmmmm. But alas it wasn’t there so I settled for good ol’ Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. I had a cheese pretzel. I sat on the damp bus scowling away at the noisey children and tucked in. Slowly my scowl turned more into the disgruntled look of a tired commuter. I’ll tell you one thing, I didn’t need lip balm after that pretzel with the amount of grease that was left on my lips! IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!

I just realised my last recipe post was also for a loaf/bread. You could say I loaf them. But then again, your sense of humour is probably far more sophisticated than mine, and such ludicrous puns don’t have you laughing to yourself….

Recipe 

This is a recipe I have adapted from another of my favourite food bloggers a cozy kitchen. I omitted the rum and made some caramel sauce as a bit of added luxury! It is important to ensure your bananas are as brown as possible to get as much flavour from them as possible. Yellow bananas are weaaaak. The sugar thermometer is not essential but it is a great tool to have around, especially if you are partial to a bit of jam/caramel making. Also, it is VERY easy to burn caramel if you aren’t careful so the sugar thermometer helps prevent you from heating the sugar up toooo much.
Serves: 8-10 (depending on how generous you are with your slices!)
              500 ml  (salted caramel sauce)
Prep Time: 20-30mins
Cooking Time: 45-50mins (+ about 20 mins for caramel)
Skill Level: Eezy Sneezey  

Equipment
Tin foil

2lb/ 900g Loaf Tin (greased)
2 x mixing bowls
Fork/ potato masher
Baking parchment
2 x saucepans
Sugar thermometer


Ingredients
Loaf
ripe bananas (about 450g)
1 tbsp brown sugar

190g plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt 
75g melted butter
100g light/dark brown sugar (try 50 of each!)
large egg
1 tbsp pure vanilla essence 
100g chocolate chips (break up a good quality chocolate bar for the best chips!)
70g chopped pecans 
—————————————————————————————————-
Salted Caramel Sauce 
240ml water
450g golden caster sugar
240ml double cream
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat grill (hottest temp). place peeled bananas side by side on foil and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar.
  2. Place on oven tray and grill until the bananas start to caramelise roughly 5-7mins (DO NOT take your eyes off your bananas. They can burn very easily and may take less time)
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 6. In a small mixing bowl, mix together plain flour and salt.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, sugar and egg. 
  6. Add vanilla essence and bananas.
  7. Mash the bananas with the back of a fork until they resemble a puree and are combined with the other ingredients. 
  8. Add the baking powder to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  9. Carefully fold in the flour mix into the wet mix until combined. (Be careful not to over mix)
  10. Fold in the chopped pecans and chocolate.
  11. Pour mix into prepared loaf tin and bake in oven for 45-50mins until a skewer comes out clean. 
  12. Allow to cool slightly before removing from tin and cooling on a rack. 
Salted Caramel
Whilst the bread is baking, you can get cracking with the caramel sauce.
  1. In a medium sized saucepan, pour in the water then carefully add the sugar into the centre of the pan. DO NOT STIR.
  2. Place saucepan over a high heat and place lid on saucepan. Bring mixture to boil
  3. Once boiling add your sugar thermometer and continue to simmer over a low heat until temperature reaches 120c.
  4. Whilst the sugar water is simmering, heat the cream over a medium heat until it starts to simmer. Set aside.
  5. The sugar should turn a amber colour as it reaches the right temperature; 120c. Remove from heat. 
  6. Add the warm cream to the sugar, a quarter at a time. It will bubble a lot. (Be careful, the sugar is very hot and will burn like nobodies business if it splashed onto your skin)
  7. Once it has stopped bubbling, whisk in the butter and salt until the butter has melted and everything has combined.
  8. Pour into sterilised jars (follow me to find out how to sterilise your jars
CUT YOURSELF A SLICE AND COVER WITH CARAMEL. MMMMM.
 
The caramel sauce is best served warm, in fact so is the loaf, just stick a slice covered in caramel in the microwave for about 20 seconds and enjoy!

 

Today’s big toone is Hackney Colliery Band’s “Prodigy Medley”. Did you see my post from Wednesday all about HCB? Take a look! 
 

KB x

 

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