Hands up who loves Avoca!!! That’ll be….. emmmmmm…. almost everyone then 🙂 There’s the odd few who can’t bear the whole “ladies who lunch” and “yummy Mummy” vibe they’ve got going on but personally, I couldn’t care less – their A-MAZING food makes up for it every time! Although I do give them 100% of the blame for my Rocky Road addiction…not good.
I love having a stroll around their shop, drooling over all of the fresh cakes and bread, poking my head into the cheese fridge and having to peel myself away and of course looking through their huge collection of cookbooks. I’ll tell the truth here – I’ve never bought any of the books, just took the odd picture on my phone of a recipe I wanted to try out… yes, yes, I know I’m a cheapskate! But I’ve way too many cake books as it is so I REFUSE to add another one to my collection just yet.
Anyway, here’s a little fact – I thought I didn’t like bananas anymore. Yeah I used to like them as a kid but the odd massive slice of banoffi or 10 scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey at the cinema is the closest I’ve got to eating them for years. So last time I was there, phone in hand ready to steal some recipes, I spotted one for some banana bread and said I’d try and get some healthiness into at least one of my recipes and see if I could convince myself to like bananas again!
I made a couple of changes, you can use pecans but all I had was walnuts so I bashed them up and threw them in instead. Use whatever chocolate you like, I had a mix of milk and dark chocolate at home so used both… personally I’d prefer dark chocolate with something like this.
So let’s get down to business!
Use a 9 inch loaf tin… I only have a little loaf tin so I got a few of these disposable 2lb tins from Tesco – perfect size.
225g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
100g Caster Sugar
50g Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Sour Cream or Greek Yoghurt (you could prob get away with not using this if you have none in the fridge)
75g Pecans or walnuts, chopped
100g Dark Chocolate, cut into chunks
4 Large Ripe Bananas, mashed
1. Preheat the oven to 180C or about 160 for fan oven.
2. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin with baking / greaseproof paper.
3. In your mixing bowl, sieve together the plain flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Stir through the caster sugar.
5. Whisk together the sour cream/yoghurt, melted (cooled) butter and egg.
6. Stir, don’t beat, the egg mixture into the flour mix until 3/4 of the way mixed in.
7. Add in the chopped nuts,chocolate chunks and mashed banana.
8. Stir the mixture until well combined, making sure there are no clumps of flour in the bottom of the bowl. This ain’t gonna look pretty but I PROMISE it will look much better once baked and will taste a million times better!
9. Spoon into the lined loaf tin and bake for 1 hour – it should be quite firm and have a nice browny colour on top.
10. Remove from the oven and leave to sit in the tin for 15 minutes, remove from tin and allow to cool before cutting it up.
It’s goooooooooood! 🙂 Tastes great by itself or with some butter or jam – if you wanna go all out crazy you could cover it with Nutella – I’m getting a sugar rush even thinking about it!
I can’t remember which of their books I robbed the recipe from but if you wanted to order any you can do so here: http://www.avoca.ie/home/products/?search=cookbook
Maybe I should just go and buy the frickin book myself at this rate! 🙂
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