last weekend i was lucky enough to get to go to my roommate’s cottage in muskoka. the weather didn’t get nice until sunday late afternoon, which was a bummer but it left me plenty of time to cook. cooking and photographing in this kitchen is a dream. it’s surrounded by windows, so i got all of the natural light i could have asked for, and the cottage has been passed down through the family for 80 years so it’s stocked full of old, beautiful kitchen supplies. i didn’t take nearly as many pictures as i wanted to, but i’ll hopefully go back later in the summer to play around with my other lense and shoot the rest of the kitchen stuff i fell in love with.
photographing with natual light streaming from all sides makes an incredible difference. and not running back and forth to the balcony was a nice change as well. i made this banana bread quickly on saturday when my pie dough was chilling in the fridge. there were some really ripe bananas on the counter and i was too in love with cooking in this kitchen to stop. i used this recipe from smitten kitchen and added walnuts – it turned out super moist and was a great snack for the next morning.
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
*recipe adapted very slightly from smitten kitchen
3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional; i used it)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips (the cottage didn’t have chocolate chips, so i subbed for wanuts. next time i make this i’m going to use the chocolate chunks AND walnuts!)
1. Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray. (I used these adorable little ceramic loaf pans and put the rest in the full sized one).
2. Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. (I didn’t do this step as the cottage didn’t have a sifter, though I would reccomend it. I had a couple of little clumps of cocoa in mine). Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.
3. Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free – the little loaves only took about 10-12 minutes to cook, so keep an eye on them. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
we went for a boat ride to port carling after this was done and we brought one of the mini loaves as a snack. grand electric has opened a tiny second location there, right on the water. the menu is a bit different than the toronto location, and i had the pulled pork which was delicious. try it out if you’re in muskoka this summer!