How To Be a Domestic God - Part Three

There are quite often times when I ask myself - what would Nigella do?
Obviously this is usually a question of what to bake or cook - but not always...
I fancied making something a bit different to have for breakfast at the weekend, and I remembered something about a breakfast loaf in Nigellissima so turned to my (signed) copy and flicked to the recipe for Italian breakfast banana bread.
I have written before about making a banana loaf, and while (as Nigella explains) it is not exactly and Italian staple, Italians do now embrace new recipes (especially baking ones). They like to start the day with something sweet (particularly I think, in Venice) too and a coffee element here adds a touch of un caffè latte.
While banana loaf is a good way to use up past-their best fruit, this time I actually went out to buy bananas especially for this, using a tip from Great British Bake Off winner Ed Kimber to speed up the ripening process: roast the bananas in a 150°C oven for around 15 minutes until scorched and softened, then allow to cool.
The Italian banana loaf itself is just as easy to make as a regular one but apparently needs to sit for at least half a day before you eat it. You can make it then the night before and have it ready and waiting as a morning pick-me-up. The batter on its own was actually delicious: richly pancake-like with an almost butterscotch hit from the instant espresso powder (I wonder if you could make pancakes from it..?) The espresso powder by the way is just that - not instant coffee or ground beans for a machine. I've only ever been able to find the NescafĂ© variety, which is just as well as it actually has a lovely, mellow, not-to-bitter rounded flavour that makes a nice cup of coffee.
I haven't actually included the recipe here - I made it just as it appears in Nigellissima but I dare say you could just add the four teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the regular banana loaf recipe (linked above) for similar results. Have it on its own or thickly sliced with a salty slick of butter.
Or smear with cinnamon-spiked mascarpone or some chocolate spread - that's what Nigella would do.


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