chocolate & banana french toast

I do love a good breakfast and some days i like to over indulge. My affair with bread is ever so passionate and my liking for dark chocolate ongoing.
When i have a little extra time in the morning i like to whip up this combination of bread and chocolate to sink my teeth into and I enjoy every bite. I savour each bite. And I don’t feel guilty.
An easy recipe and the custard can be prepared the night before, saving you time in the morning to focus on other important tasks before running out the door.
Similar to traditional French toast, with the addition of cocoa & dark chocolate, this breakfast will have you return for more. And the kids will certainly love it too!
I love topping the toast with banana for some natural sweetness. And really – who doesn’t like the combination of chocolate & banana…?

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
8 slices bread (i prefer white)
2T butter
3 eggs
1C milk
1t vanilla essence / paste
3T cocoa powder, sifted
1T castor sugar
pinch of salt
50g dark chocolate, grated / finely chopped
4 ripe bananas, sliced diagonally
1/2C nuts, toasted
maple syrup
icing sugar, for dusting
plain yogurt, optional

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large, shallow dish, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla essence, cocoa, sugar & salt. Whisk until well combined.
Place the bread into the chocolate custard and soak for about two minutes.
Spoon the grated / chopped chocolate onto four of the slices.
Carefully sandwich the slices together making four sandwiches.
Heat the butter in a large ovenproof skillet and carefully lower the bread into the skillet. Toast the bread for about three to four minutes a side.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Top each sandwich with the sliced banana and bake in the oven for about five minutes.
Drizzle the maple syrup over the toast as soon as it comes out of the oven and top with the toasted nuts. Dust with icing sugar.
Top with plain yogurt if desired and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

walnut & almond banana bread

another tasty childhood bake! the sweet aroma of banana baking away in the oven sits fresh in my memory bank. my paternal grandmother loved baking this delectable loaf and my mother was right on her heels. we savoured this treat cut into thick slices, warm with butter and cups of sweet tea. and i love it with double thick cream. full fat, of course. i am imagining a banana bread pudding with one of these loaves drizzled with caramel sauce or whipped cream.
nuts are optional here but i simply cannot imagine this loaf without a bit of toasted crunch.
i wonder how many times we walk past the overripe bananas in our fruit bowls and remind ourselves to bake a banana bread. but never do.
go on, use those sad bananas before they meet the bottom of your bin.

makes 1 loaf |
2c all purpose flour
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp fine salt
3/4c brown sugar
1/2c butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
4 small ripe bananas, smashed
1/3c slivered almonds
1/2c walnuts, roughly chopped

how to do it |
preheat the oven to 165 degrees C or 145 with a fan. grease a loaf tin with melted butter or nonstick spray.
sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl. using a hand held mixer, cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. add the eggs and beat until just incorporated. fold the smashed banana into the butter and egg mixture. mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well. fold through the toasted nuts. pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
bake in the preheated oven for 55 – 65 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
remove from the oven and rest in the loaf tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

serve warm with butter and spoonfuls of double thick cream.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

Yogurt & chilli flatbread

I love the smell of yeast and even more so the smell and taste of fresh bread.
Flatbread looks like a lot of work and I am sure there are many recipes out there that are a lot of work. However, this recipe is easy and fairly quick to get together. I think the longest task would be the waiting time for the dough to prove. These flatbreads are beautiful with a hearty curry or a soup. Quite honestly – I will serve these with just about anything! The cooked flatbreads freeze really well and the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to two days. The flatbreads will also make a lovely wrap filled with various savoury fillings.

Ingredients (Yields about 12 breads)
1 1/4 C Warm water
1 Packet yeast
1.5 Tbs sugar
1 C Plain yogurt
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Fine salt
1/2 Tsp red chilli flakes
Leaves of 5 sprigs thyme
1/2 Tsp Garlic flakes
4.5 C Flour
100g Butter, melted

How to do it
Combine the warm water, yeast & sugar and set aside until foamy. Add the yogurt, oil & salt to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Tip in the flour, chilli flakes, thyme & garlic flakes and mix until dough is formed. Tip out on a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary. Shape into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and a tea towel, place in a warm spot, and leave to prove for about an hour, until doubled in size. Knock back and turn out on a floured surface. Knead for about 3 minutes. Divide into equal sized rounds.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. Roll the dough out fairly thin and brush with olive oil on the top side. Place into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes until bubbles appear. Turn and cook for. a further 1 minute. Turn out on a plate and brush with the melted butter. Repeat and stack breads on top of one another. Wrap with clingfilm and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x