Sure, they're A LOT bigger now, but this pair of terrors can elevate my mood instantly with a simple twitch of their cheeks. Without them I don't know what I would do. It's funny how animals can develop their own little personality, each totally different from the other. Marmalade is my tiny prince, spoilt, fussy and stubborn. Want a big cuddle? Well, you're looking at the wrong cat..unless he wants one, of course. Muffin on the other hand is a cuddly, loving little monster. Probably the most ungraceful cat I have ever met, but boy is she adorable. Put them together, however, and you have a kitty whirlwind of naughtiness. But it's a whirlwind I couldn't live without.
Another of my favorite things is banana bread. Oh, how I love banana bread, the taste, the smell, the way it looks, all sultry sitting there in its tin. And luckily for me, I always have a few over ripe bananas knocking around my kitchen. Add chocolate and I'm yours forever, this cake is like a giant moist hug every morning and it only gets better with age. I often make a loaf at the beginning of the week and see how long it can last for a beautiful breakfast time treat.
Chocolate Banana Bread, adapted from Olive Magazine:
100g plain chocolate
150g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed (I used 3 small bananas)
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a small glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat.
Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating well between each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold in using a large metal spoon. Add the mashed banana and chocolate and mix well.
Pour mixture into lined tin and bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then wrap in baking parchment or foil.
The original recipe calls for 2 smaller loaf tins and to bake them for 45 minutes. I only have a larger tin so I increased the baking time by 15 minutes which seemed to work perfectly. Just make sure you keep and eye on it after the 45 minutes are up. You can find the original recipe here, on BBC Good Food.