Well it would seem that I have run across some form of streak with the loaves I’ve been making as of late. They’ve all been really good, and I could only wish I managed to take really good photos so that these recipes can be featured on the blog in the way that they deserve. Alas, my photos aren’t exactly to my liking, so I decided I would just write a Round-Up.
The first two loaves are these fantastic quickbreads; chock full of lovely flavors that really hit one spot or another. The third loaf though I found a bit strange. Let’s just say that although going the healthy route with food is a smart idea, it’s generally difficult to follow this road with pastries and baked goods. They are by nature indulgent, and more often than not, they taste best when left alone without tweaking to make it seem healthy. I’m not saying that healthier-but-still-yummy versions of some pastries do not exist, just that some of them do not turn up as good as expected.
But I shall deliver the good bits first.
Marmalade Yoghurt Loaf
This cake was a chance encounter on Ree Drumond’s website. I found myself curious about the flavour combination, which is mainly why I made it. Boy, am I glad I did. I really loved the way this smelled, especially after smothering on the yoghurt and marmalade topping. The orange marmalade’s scent just really pops!
The cake was super moist and perfectly spongy and lovely; something dainty-looking for a formal tea party, I thought. The yogurt-marmalade topping provides a zing to the lightly lemon-flavoured bread. I followed the original recipe to a T and also used orange marmalade for my glaze, and it was marvelous. But if you don’t like orange marmalade, you can pick your favourite marmalade jam for this because it’ll be one of the major flavour players.
Just a quick note though: In Ree’s site, her glaze was kind of runny. Mine, as you can notice, is rather thick (and in effect really tangy- YUM!) and I’m not sure why that is. In any case, it was delicious, and that’s the only important part!
Yes, you read that right: Cocoa and banana. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a new flavour combination for a lot of people, but I’ve never actually made anything like this before. I mean, sure I’ve eaten chocolate covered bananas on sticks, but one of my little brothers isn’t such a fan of this flavour combination so he always urges me to make something else.
I’ve still been thinking about baking something with these two as the star ingredients however, and I am glad I finally did. I’m a huge fan of anything banana and chocolate, usually separately, but when I saw this on The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog, I knew I had to make it as soon as possible. And there was not a doubt in my mind that it would taste marvelous.
Upon tasting this loaf, I felt that the chocolate really brought out the banana flavour all the more. They complement each other really well, lending each other a hand in terms of conveying taste. The texture of the cake is very soft and tender, and it kind of melts in your mouth while you eat. I wouldn’t recommend having too many pieces though, as the loaf is slightly sweet, I thought. That’s actually what my little brother thought as well, after he finished off a couple of slices.
This recipe was adapted from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker, a fantastic book which I have looked through over and over a million times but have never baked from. I guess this would count as recipe number 1?
Healthy Spongy Banana Bread
Okay. I’m going to be honest with you on this one. I actually didn’t like this recipe, because the result I got was more banana sponge than cake. Yes, it tasted like bananas, and honey actually, but the texture of the bread was really weird. Maybe too spongey for me. Quite frankly, I think it would make a good accompaniment to ice cream (which is mainly how we finished the loaf, actually defeating its “healthy” label), maybe coffee even, because it would get soaked right to its core and give you this wonderful explosion in your mouth with every bite.
But then again, I was looking for something closer to the texture of real banana bread without being too sweet or too fattening. I think if I were keeping track of my calorie count (which I do occasionally), I would much rather devote them to a slice of real banana bread rather than this one. It’s simply more satisfying.
Part of me wants to make this again just to make sure it wasn’t a glitch that I got this funny-textured bread, but the bigger, more logical part of me is telling me to move on and try another kind of “healthy” banana bread. I haven’t given up on this healthy thing yet.
Now why did I include this in this post, you would ask? Well, I actually really liked my photographs of this bread. It would be unfortunate not to post it, so take this a sort of “recipe review”. I give it 2.5 out of 5 gold stars! In case you’re interested, here’s where I got the recipe.