Happy Chinese New Year eve everybody! I'm so looking forward to the Year of the Dragon. It's supposed to be a lucky one, especially for rats like me! Judging from Twitter and Facebook, lots of my friends are busy eating today! As for me, we'll be having Reunion Dinner at my parents' house later tonight, and today was a huuge day of cleaning and sweeping and wiping and washing to get my flat in tiptop shape for the big day tomorrow. Of course, I made some time for a little baking too! Phew, I am exhausted! And so glad to have a little sneaky time to sit down and blog.
Clearing out the freezer and cupboards today, I found a whole lotta frozen bananas, and lots of other little goodies, and decided to make a special, super-lucky Chinese New Year version of my favourite choc chip banana bread. I trust you'll indulge me in my superstitious Chinese symbolism!
Firstly, I made them in a mini loaf tin, to resemble gold bars. Yeah, money! (Or "prosperity" if we're going for the whole Chinese cliché!)
I also added heaps of add-ins to the batter, representing abundance.
I chose the macadamias for their luxuriousness, and the fact that they kinda look like little coins. Ditto the white chocolate buttons. (I used the milk chocolate chips because I wanted to finish off the packet I had in the cupboard. And they taste awesome). I added the chia for extra healthy goodness. Also, the word "chia" means "eat" in Hokkien - representing a wish for lots of good things to eat this year!
They smelled so good in the oven! It's been total torture not eating them, but I want to continue the lucky theme and take all eight (lucky 8!) of them to the Reunion Dinner tonight. Cannot wait!
Gold Bar Banana Bread
Adapted from Bill Granger's Chocolate Chip Banana BreadMakes 8 mini loaves
250g plain flour2 tsp baking powder125g unsalted butter, softened200g caster sugar4 ripe mashed bananas2 eggs1 tsp vanilla extract1 cup chocolate chips (milk, white, dark or a combination)1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped3 tbs chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 180C. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract, chocolate and nuts in a separate bowl. Add the chia seeds, flour and baking powder, and stir gently to combine. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased miniature loaf tray. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaves are cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Happy New Year!