Fragrant Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rolled Barley + Friday Favourites

Brown Butter Banana Bread Brown Butter Banana Bread

I’ve been meaning to do a ‘Friday Favourites’ series on this blog for quite awhile now. There’s just something fun about curating a personalised list of things each week — picks from all over the web, links to interesting articles, great ideas, pretty objects, delicious food, etc. I know it’s Saturday right now (in Australia, anyway), but better late than never!

Friday Favourites { 18 September 2015 }

1 | Cold sesame noodles with chopped cucumber and bean salad / easy & refreshing!
2 | Photography by Rob Sese / those landscape shots are dreamy & to-die-for.
3 | Salted rosemary lattes / yes, please — two cups if you don’t mind.
4 | Zoofari Lodge, Taronga Western Plains Zoo / closest I’d probably get to going to Africa.
5 | 50 unpredictable & non-clichéd places to travel to in your 20s / this list!

Continue reading “Fragrant Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rolled Barley + Friday Favourites”

Orange & Banana Breakfast Muffins with Shredded Coconut

Orange & Banana Breakfast Muffins

For a more filling and satisfying breakfast, start your morning with these spiced orange and banana muffins! They’re super simple to make – just throw some flour, baking powder and spices into an awesome concoction of butter, eggs, dark brown sugar, orange zest, mashed banana and milk. Spoon the mixture into paper cups and sprinkle some desiccated coconut over the tops to make them extra pretty. Bake for less than half an hour and voilà! Super delicious muffins for brekkie! Continue reading “Orange & Banana Breakfast Muffins with Shredded Coconut”

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

I think we’ve all had the occasional dream where everything that happens in it is really odd, even downright creepy, but we don’t feel at all threatened or scared while it’s happening. In fact, we’re mostly not too concerned and frankly, quite apathetic. And it’s only until after waking up that we think “why was I so calm in that dream? It was terrifying!” Well, that was me when I woke up this morning.

In short, my dream consisted of a global pandemic whereby people who were infected by a virus became crazily aggressive. And even though there was this viral outbreak happening and apparently 68% of the city was infected, everyone still went about their daily lives like nothing bad was happening. I went to work as a mechanic and I liked my job. Some people from high school figured prominently. Life was actually pretty normal, up until I decided to visit a friend on Tamborine Mountain in the middle of the night, who just so happened to be Andrew Garfield. When I got to his house, I discovered that he and a bunch of incredibly creepy babies (!!!!) were infected, but everything turned out okay because Emma Stone saved me, and then we found the cure to the virus (in the form of a magical purple flower that had butterflies flying around it). The dream ended pretty abruptly after that.

Honey and Coconut Oil Chopped Bananas Whittaker's Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate Bars Whittaker's Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate

So yes, that was actually what I dreamt about last night. I don’t usually have many epic dreams, but when I do, they’re pretty memorable. I might make myself a dream diary, just for the fun of it. Or maybe I’ll just keep a record of my dreams on this blog, and you guys can figure out what my subconscious is trying to tell me. Anyway, all this talk of dreams has reminded me of an interesting article I read a few weeks ago: The Science of Dreams and Why We Have Nightmares. You guys should totally check it out.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Righto, back to baking. If you need some inspiration for breakfast this weekend, try this recipe. Seriously, it’s good. We had heaps of spelt and coconut flour just sitting in the pantry, plus an outrageous number of jars of honey and lots of bananas at various stages of ripening at our disposal. Key ingredients for a healthy loaf of banana bread, you say? Indeed. We also had an abundance of Whittaker’s Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate Bars at home, so I chopped these up and used them in this recipe. They’ve obviously got chunks of peanuts in them, but plain dark chocolate will also do nicely here.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate ChunksSpelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

You can make this recipe vegan-friendly by substituting the honey with maple syrup and using dairy-free chocolate (Pana Chocolate and Sweet William offer some awesome dairy-free chocolate products that don’t compromise on taste). No eggs, butter or milk was used in this recipe, mainly because we didn’t actually have any at the time. Good thing we had flaxseeds and coconut oil on hand! I have to say, this is probably one of my favourite things I’ve baked so far. With its perfect cake-like texture – firm, yet spongy and crumbly – and a strong banana flavour interspersed with generous amounts of dark chocolate, there is no way anyone could turn down a warm slice or two.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks


2 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseeds mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water)
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a 7″ x 4″ loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a small heatproof bowl, melt the coconut oil and honey together (you can do this in a microwave for a few seconds) and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas and flax egg together, then add the coconut oil and honey mixture and mix well.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently stir together until everything is just combined.
  6. Add the hot water and mix well, then carefully fold in the chopped chocolate chunks.
  7. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring loaf to a wire rack to cool. Best served fresh and still slightly warm.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Brown Sugar & Cream Cheese Banana Bread‏

Alright, I have a confession to make. I bake a lot. Every week, I bake several somethings and it’s a habit I can’t seem to break. I think the best thing about baking is that when you whip up something amazing, you get to enjoy the praise that other people bestow upon you once they bite into it. When their eyes light up and they make loud orgasmic sounds or jump up and down excitedly, you know you’ve done your job.

One of the true benefits of constant baking is how efficient you become at it. Gather the ingredients, preheat the oven, mix this, cream that, melt this, beat that, combine this, fold that, bake. I become a whirlwind of productivity in the kitchen when I bake. And in between it all, I try to find perfect opportunities to take perfect pictures with my camera so I can visually let you into my world.

A few days ago, I was hit by a staggering wave of creativity both baking-wise and photography-wise. I’ve been dreaming up tasteful recipes, taking my camera for walks, using up all the ingredients in my pantry (damn, I’m out of brown sugar), looking for inspiration all over the place. Sometimes, you don’t have to look very hard. Looking at the simplest of things in a different light can turn the most boring ideas into spectacular masterpieces.

Brown sugar. Cream cheese. Banana bread. Three simple pleasures, when combined, form the most fragrant, moist and mouth-watering loaf of quickbread you could ever imagine. The resulting brown sugar-crusted cream cheese-infused banana loaf is, believe it or not, banana bread with a whole load of attitude. I’ve made plenty of loaves of banana bread over the years and this one takes the cake. The cream cheese is the star here. It transforms the cake into a soft, moist and almost creamy golden-brown pillow. Say goodbye to tough, dry, ultra bland banana bread and hello to heaven.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional brown sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and generously grease a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix mashed bananas and softened cream cheese with a fork until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be lumpy, but that’s fine.
  4. Add melted butter and brown sugar to the banana mixture and mix well.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture, taking care not to over mix (leaving a few streaks of flour in the batter is fine).
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle the top with a generous amount of brown sugar for your crunchy top coat.
  8. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.