With the start of a new year people are often inspired to try new things, make new resolutions, start new habits. It’s equally a good and bad time to do this. It feels like a fresh start, twelve months ahead of you to plan and map out and to put behind you anything from the previous year you may want to forget.
This is all great, but the problem is January is a bit of a long and dreary month and it can be difficult to carry the momentum from January’s first few days right through to the 31st. I haven’t really made any resolutions this year, nothing specific anyway. A few people have talked about intentions for the year ahead, which I like because it doesn’t feel like a box to check off (as much as I enjoy a list) and it’s less a matter of potential failure and more about trying to fulfill that intention.
To help me through January I have a few new things of my own:
A new tattoo. Firstly apologies for showing this much skin on the blog, it won’t happen again! It’s a lyric from a song by my favourite band Good Charlotte. I’ve had the idea of this tattoo in my head for about 10 years so I figured it was about time to get on with it.
A new diary. An essential for a new year. I decorated this pink, day-to-page Moleskine diary with these pretty stickers I bought in Waterstones, to remind me to, well, get on with tattoos I’ve been thinking about for 10 years, among other things.
A new outfit. Well, the dress is new, and the bracelet (which was 70% off!). I was mostly impressed with my matching nail polish.
Although new things are definitely important, we shouldn’t forget old things…old favourites in particular. Banana bread is most definitely an old favourite with me. Classic, feel good food. I baked this up at the weekend with the two sorry looking bananas which were left in my fruit bowl.
In the spirit of trying new things, I tried out a new recipe. This recipe uses caster sugar, where I would usually use light brown, so it is lighter in colour and doesn’t have that deep flavour from the sugar. I added just enough cinnamon to give that background warmth required in a good banana bread, and along with the dark chocolate chips the flavour was great.
This is a very quick loaf to whip up and, as always, a great way to use up bananas. The chocolate came from the last of my Christmas chocolate, an excellent way to use it up if you ask me!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
adapted from How to Bake
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
3 large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
100g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks, tossed in a tasblespoon of flour
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Butter and flour, or line with greaseproof paper, a 1kg loaf tin.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, or in a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Add the flour all at once and fold in to the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a wire rack.