Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Going Bananas With (Banana) Jam

Whole-wheat banana loaf with banana jam and chocolate
I have a small clump of banana plants in my backyard and last month's harvest was wonderful. There was plenty of sharing with friends and family and with the remaining bananas, I made several bottles of jam. And I have been using the jam in quick breads, muffins, or simply having them out of the jar with a spoonful of the same in mini tart shells. And the flavour in the jam has been enhanced with passing weeks. The cloves, cinnamon and ginger have/and are still slowly working their magic. I've been telling myself that it makes sense to make banana jam.:)
The harvest

This variety is locally known as jahaji kol. Did you know that bananas are the fifth most traded agricultural commodity in the world? That is after cereals, sugar, coffee and cocoa. In India it is the second most important fruit crop in India after mango. Its year-round availability, affordibility, taste, nutritive and medicinal value make it the favourite fruit among all classes of people. Source.
Muffins made with banana jam
These muffins were made for my son's friends at the coaching class he attends.
Mini tart shells to taste the jam
The recipe for the jam is here. Recently when some friends came over they tried the jam by filling these freshly-baked tart shells and they loved the taste!! Apart from these, I have also made banana jam cake with poppy seeds which I carried with me when I went visiting. But yesterday I made a simple loaf with jam and whole-wheat flour.

Whole-wheat banana loaf with chocolate


Ingredients:
11/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2/3 cup banana jam
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbs water
2 tbs plain yogurt
100 grams butter, at room temperature+ extra for greasing the tin
2 large eggs
About 80 grams dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
Butter and line the tin with grease-proof paper. I used a 91/2 inch loaf tin.
Sieve the flour and the baking powder. 
Cream the sugar and the butter in a large bowl until the mixture turns pale in colour.
Beat in one egg till fully incorporated. Then do the same with the other.
Add the yogurt, the jam, the vanilla extract and the coffee. Whisk to incorporate.
Lastly fold in the flour/baking powder mix.
Add half of the batter to the prepared tin. 
Then scatter the chopped chocolate over the batter.
Top off with the rest of the cake batter. Tap the tin on the counter top to release air bubbles.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 35-40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
If the top tends to brown easily, place a piece of foil on top.
Remove and cool.

This cake goes wonderfully well with a cup of tea. I only use half a cup of sugar as the jam is sweet and that was good enough. The flavour of the fruit is subtle and I think I like this better than using (over) ripe fruit. So as long as the jam lasts I think I'm going to incorporate the same in some more recipes.
 
 
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