Yes, it's been awhile since I posted on here but then again I did move and start a new job. The new job was nothing compared to the new city I find myself in. Jakarta, or as some call it 'the big durian' is a melting pot of everything - people, food, traffic, noise, street sellers, motorbikes and it never sleeps. You can find out more about my adventures in Jakarta here.
However, the good news is that I managed to find myself an apartment to live in with a gas oven. I don't have a huge amount of experience working with gas ovens so the first few cooking adventures have been a getting to know you better experiment. Gas ovens get very hot. When you put them in an apartment that is average sized but has an open kitchen concept. Well, it turns the whole living space into, well, an oven. It gets insanely hot. Plus I have found things cook very quick with gas.The heat seems so much more intense than an electric oven and I guess that's because under there is a whole circle of flames.
Nevertheless, I will not be deterred and I will conquer baking with gas.
Today, I wanted to make some banana bread. I love banana bread. There is something so comforting and satisfying about it. I found a recipe on a blog called Cannella Vita which I started following recently and the recipe seemed so simple but yet got such good reviews. I like simple, especially when I am too busy worrying about the oven part of the baking process.
If there is one thing ican say with my hand on my heart, it is that I have found THE perfect banana for baking banana bread. It grows here in Indonesia and is called pisang ambon or Ambon banana. Yes, when you go to the supermarket here in Jakarta you can find up to five or six different kinds of bananas for sale. They range in size, thickness of skin and shape. However, pisang ambon is the king of them all in my eyes when it comes to baking. I made banana bread back in Dublin but it never had the same taste or colour as banana bread here. This particular banana turns the bread this lovely dark golden colour compared to the paler shade I always got in Ireland.
This recipe turned out just perfect. The bread was very moist and the only difference I made to the recipe was to add a half teaspoon of cinnamon (because for me it goes so well with bananas) and a teaspoon of vanilla (because it goes well with everything). I also baked it in my fabulous, best buy ever, mini Bundt silicone tray. This silicone Bundt tray bakes everything perfectly and lets face it, who doesn't want to have their very own portion of banana bread shaped in a cute little Bundt.
Of course, to really pimp up banana bread there is nothing like a good smear of dark chocolate spread and a sprinkling of walnuts to send it over the edge. Yum...