Banana bread with peanut butter glazing and cocoa nibs

I’ve got mixed feelings today – the year is coming to an end and wondering what the next one has in store. Do you feel the same?

2012 has been a good year, not  great  but good. A year when I got an opportunity to meet new people and make some new friends. A year that helped me hone my skills and got me started with baking. A year of  disappointments and a year of collaboration. I hope  tomorrow will be a better reflection of the past year.

The combination of banana and peanut butter is heavenly and have you tried it in a smoothie? Ohhh its heavenly. If you’re like me who doesn’t like to cook morning breakfast, then breads are great but banana bread is even more awesome.  Bake it a night before and glaze it in the morning. Warm the bread a bit before  glazing  it with some yummy peanut butter. The nibs add a nice crunch to the bread. I tasted cocoa nibs from Peru for the first time and exploring new recipes with it.

banana bread 1

Ingredients

2 overly  ripe bananas

80gms butter (Amul or Govind)

1 egg

100gms raw sugar (you can add 25gms more if you like yours sweeter)

1tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon powder

140gms wheat flour

60gms all purpose flour

For glazing

1tbs peanut butter

1tbs milk (room temperature)

1tsp raw sugar

cocoa nibs for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade and grease a 8 by 4 inch loaf pan or equivalent.

2. Sieve the flours along with baking soda and cinnamon powder.

3. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add egg, raw sugar and butter and beat until mixed well.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.

5. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and  bake for about 45 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.

6. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.

7. Prepare the glaze and spread it over the cake while its still warm and sprinkle some cocoa nibs for some crunch.

banana bread 3

Happy New Year! Look forward to more food love 🙂

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Heard of the Christmas cookie? Watch how it crumbles with some blackstrap molasses…..

Its December and we are all geared up to celebrate the last month of the year…aren’t we? Its been a while since I did a recipe post and frankly I’ve been waiting to share so many things with you. Firstly I want  to tell you that we are taking our i2cook organic store online and its being christened “i2cook.com” and we are all geared up to launch it in January.

Secondly I will be coming up with more recipes in sync with the store to give you the best options to use the products to your maximum benefit. Does that sound like fun. Yes. I’m so excited! And thirdly, I’m working on couple of new products for i2cook and will be adding more yummy stuff next year.

Christmas is round the corner and I hope we are all geared up to bake some ginger cookies. Today I’m not going to tell you about ginger cookies but a little more about a special ingredient that we are using in making these cookies- “blackstrap molasses”.

What is molasses?

Cane Molasses is made in a three-step process that begins with the juice from mature or green sugar cane plant. The juice is boiled to concentrate and crystallize the sugar. The result is called the “first” molasses. The crystallized sugar is removed and the residue is boiled again. The mixture darkens as the remaining sugar is burnt or caramelized. What results is called, “second” molasses. After more sugar crystals are removed, the process is repeated once again. The final or “third” boil produces the dark, concentrated syrup known as blackstrap molasses.

Molasses are of two kinds – sulphured and unsulphured. Blackstrap contains the same vitamins and minerals as “second” molasses, but in a more concentrated form. It has a bitter sweet flavour and taste.

Benefits of balckstrap molasses:
  • It is rich in iron and contains benefits for  menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, pregnant or lactating and growing children or adolescents.
  • Molasses is rich in copper (good for bone development, connective tissue, production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin), manganese (involved in the synthesis of fatty acids that are important for a healthy nervous system and in the production of cholesterol that is used by the body to produce sex hormones), potassium & calcium (help in muscle contraction and nerve transmission) and magnesium – helps regulate nerve and muscle tone.

Storage:

Molasses should be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or a cool, dry place. Unopened containers can be kept for about one year, while opened containers should be kept for not more than six months.

You can read more about  blackstrap molasses here and here. Due to the nutrients present in blackstrap molasses a lot of them have one or two spoons of molasses as a tonic with warm water. I prefer to  bake some cookies or use it as a rub for my meats. Either way it is a great product to include  in your diet. Since we now know everything about black molasses lets move on to the cooking part. Which is the fun part….isn’t it? And with Christmas round the corner, how can we not bake some molasses or ginger cookies. I’ve made two variations this time – plain and with candied ginger powder and I must confess that the ginger one does add to the festive spirit.

ginger cookies

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients for ginger molasses cookies

Recipe adapted from here

170gms wheat flour

80gms all purpose flour

150gms butter (Govind or Amul butter)

120gms blackstrap molasses

80gms raw sugar (some extra for rolling)

2tsp (10gms) baking soda

1egg (room temperature)

1tsp (5gms) cinnamon powder

2.5tsp (15gms) candied ginger powder

6-8 cloves crushed

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients flours, soda along with the spices.
  2. Beat egg, sugar and butter till mixed well. Add molasses and combine.
  3. Fold the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 ½” balls, then roll the balls in raw sugar to coat the outsides. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in pre-heated oven (@ 180 centigrade) until set and crinkled on top, about 10 to 12 minutes depending upon your oven settings. Keep a keen watch.
  5. Once done allow it cool on a wire rack . Store in air tight containers for about two weeks. I got 2 dozen medium-sized  cookies.

Some points to remember:

  • The recipe calls for  baking soda only, as it helps to curb any acidic reactions from molasses.
  • You need to bake the cookie mixture immediately or else they will fall flat.
  • Sieve the baking soda along with the flour to avoid any lumps.
  • Always lay the mixed cookie dough on a cooled baking tray, especially in the second round, allow the tray to cool first completely.
molasses cookie

Molasses cookies without any spices