I’m one of those weirdos that won’t eat a banana once it has turned even slightly brown.
I like my bananas super under-ripe, green almost, so that the fruit inside is still firm (but not chalky). Am I alone is this weirdom, or is anyone out there with me?
I’m also one of those people that tends to get overexcited at the markets, and I go all “Oh, bananas are in season and 99c a kilo, let’s get ten and eat them for breakfast”, only to eat one or two each and watch the rest of them turn brown in the fruit bowl.
Not wanting to waste perfectly good produce, into the freezer said bananas went. They collected until I had enough the other weekend and decided to bake them into this cake.
I made it slightly healthy by using coconut oil as the fat and subbing in greek yogurt instead of sour cream, simply because they’re the ingredients I had on hand. And I promise you would not be able to tell the difference between the original recipe and mine in the resulting cake. It doesn’t even have the slightest hint of coconut flavour. Even I was surprised.
It is everything you want in banana bread. Moist, hearty, packed full of banana, and is delicious toasted and smothered in butter.
Now I can still eat those bananas for breakfast, but in a cake. Even better, right?
I was really happy to get such a lovely response from you guys about the travel section after my post about Prague.
We ate our way through quite a few cities so I’m excited to be sharing another one with you today!
But first, a little disclaimer: I’m half Polish, and one entire side of my family live there. So I know that I may be biased, but Kraków in Poland is one of my favourite cities. Of all time.
It’s beautiful. My favourite thing to do in Kraków is to just walk around it, with my jaw hanging open, because no matter how many times I go there (and it’s been a few now), the city never fails to take my breath away.
The old town, the castle, the Planty (the gardens surrounding the old town, where the moat used to be), the old town square. They’re all stunning, and I couldn’t wait to take Mr Man there on our recent Europe trip.
Every day, without fail, we walked around for hours gazing at all the beautiful kamienice (terraces), lost ourselves down cobblestoned alleyways, and ate breakfast at Charlotte.
Charlotte is a french-inspired patisserie, boulangerie and bistro in Kraków, Poland.
They make a lovely selection of sourdough breads and amazing pastries. We loved the pain aux raisin, the pain aux chocolat and the raspberry croissants!
But my all time favourite, the one we went back for everyday, was the warkocz (or plat). It’s a twisted croissant pastry filled with custard and chocolate chips. All of my favourite things together in a single pastry, right there.
Charlotte also serve a selection of tartines and breakfast dishes.
Our favourite tartine was with smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill (please excuse Mr Man cracking his egg in the background there!).
We also ordered a continental-style breakfast a few times. You get a basket of assorted house-baked bread, a boiled egg, a croissant, tea or coffee and your choice of a jar of house made fruit preserves or a pot of chocolate.
I loved the strawberry preserves. The whole, plump, bursting, sweet strawberries were so good all over my croissant.
But having a pot of house-made milk chocolate spread to slather onto my baguette wasn’t so bad either.
Charlotte actually serve breakfast all day, too. Straight through till midnight.
Yes, you read right. At Charlotte, you can have your croque monsieurat 9 am with your morning coffee and the papers, or you can have it at 10pm over wine with a few friends. And I love that!
They were so delicious, the pastry was short and buttery but flaky at the same time, crunchy with all the sugar sprinkled on top. The galettes were packed full of fruit too, with apple as the base and seasonal summer fruits on top – plums in one, cherries in another (check out a photo here!).
These galettes were my first attempt at recreating the ones I had in Prague.
The recipe is from Tartine and calls for a proper galette dough. You can use whatever fruit you like for the filling, from apples, to berries or stone fruit, and each one is sweetened individually.
We loved these! The pastry was light, buttery and flaky, kind of like a cross between shortcrust and puff. As you bite into the galettes, layers of crispy pastry fall into your lap. And the combination of stewed apple and bright, bursting berries inside is lovely! We particularly liked the strawberry ones.
However, these aren’t quite the ones I had from Bakeshop. That pastry was a little more on the side of shortcrust and although flaky, a little less like puff. They also stayed crisp into the next day, while these Tartine ones went soft and needed reheating.
I’ll keep trialling, but in the meantime, I highly recommend this recipe! Just bake up and eat warm and fresh. X
To make the dough, put the cubed butter in the freezer for 10 minutes. Dissolve the salt in the water and put that in the freezer until required.
On a large, clean work surface, spread out the flours. Scatter the chilled butter over the top, and cover it with a little of the flour.
Get a rolling pin and begin rolling, back and forth, until the butter spreads out into long, thin flakes. Use a bench scraper to scrape the sides of your flour and butter mixture, and continue rolling. Repeat this process 3 - 4 times.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the water. Use the bench scraper to mix the water and dough together by scraping and cutting it in.
Once the dough begins to come together but is still messy, scrape it into a rectangle in front of you. Lightly dust with flour, then roll it out till it's almost double in size.
Scrape the messy sides of the dough in and fold the dough in half, then repeat the rolling and folding process, until the dough is a smooth mass.
Roll the dough into a rectangle, about ¾ inch thick, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When you're ready to make the galettes, prepare your fruit as necessary, and make your egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and cream.
Divide your dough into 15 equal portions. Roll each portion into rounds, less than ⅛ inch thick. Refrigerate the rounds for about 10 minutes.
Top each round of dough with fruit, leaving a 1 inch border around the edge bare. Sprinkle each galette with 1 - 2 tsp sugar, depending on the sweetness of your fruit Then fold in the edges of the dough, partially covering the fruit.
Brush each galette with egg wash and sprinkle the dough with raw sugar. Arrange on lined baking trays.
Freeze the galettes for at least 30 minutes, to prevent them from unravelling while baking. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F).
Bake the galettes for 45 minutes - 1 hour, rotating the trays halfway through baking, until they are golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be very aware on that my recent holiday to Europe, I basically just ate the entire time.
We had an amazing time away and were lucky enough to be able to eat lots of delicious food! So I thought it would be nice to start a little Travel section on the blog, with lots of tips for great food and pastry spots.
Prague was, surprisingly, probably the hottest food spot on our trip. There were so many delicious bakeries, restaurants, butcher-come-cafes, street food stalls and ice cream shops that we literally did not have enough time, or space in our ever-full bellies, to visit all the ones that were on my list.
But try we did, and in no particular order, here’s a little look at the food we loved and recommend that you visit if you go to Prague!
Breakfast is one of my favourite meals, and it was particularly well done at Cafe Savoy. They have options of cooked breakfasts as well as more continental style breakfasts, which is what we went for. I love a boiled egg and bread basket, as it is something pretty much no one has on their menus in Melbourne!
They also have a pastry kitchen downstairs at Cafe Savoy, where you can watch the chefs hard at work through a glass wall. They are said to make the the best vetrinik (caramel choux pastry, on the left) in Prague, but we loved the plain vanilla choux venecek even more! Classics are always the best.
Mr Man’s favourite food in Prague was hands down the sausages! They were cooked on grills, served with bread, and went perfectly with a cold Czech beer. They sell them in stalls in the old town square, and also in the huge beer garden up in Letna Park. We loved the stunning view of Prague from up there too!
Another of his lunch favourites were the little sandwiches, or chlebíčky that we had at Sisters Chlebíčky. They are open sandwiches with a variety of fun toppings. The one with ham, potato salad, boiled egg and cornichons was our favourite! We’ve been making little chlebíčky like these a lot since we got back home. Yum!
A pastry shop that we returned to each day of our stay was the aptly named Bakeshop. They had a huge selection of cakes, cookies and pastries, but what had us coming back each day was the amazing fruit galette. I had a plum and apple and a cherry and apple one during my stay, and both were delicious (also pictured is a walnut calvados tart and a couple of cookies for Mr Man).
The galette pastry was perfectly buttery and flaky and crumbly, all at the same time. Perfection! I’ve been working on recreating a recipe for this at home, so hopefully I’ll share one with you soon!
Our favourite meal was at Maso a Kobliha. There is an emergence in Prague of butcher’s shops that double as lunch spots. They have a refrigerated cabinet of well-sourced meats for you to buy and takeaway, but they also offer those same meats on a lunch menu. Your choice of one of their steaks, perfectly grilled, for example, or their own sausages, cooked and served with mashed potato.
One such butcher/cafe is Maso a Kobliha,whereMr Man had this ox tongue sandwich on brioche served with house made chips.
My favourite was their scotch egg. I don’t eat much red meat but the mince was so flavourful, well seasoned and soft, the exterior of the scotch egg was amazingly crispy, the egg was perfectly cooked with that gorgeous runny yolk, and the dots of jammy chutney were a great touch. It was a party in my mouth.
Maso a Kobliha also serve desserts made by Maskrtnica. Her donuts, filled to the brim with smooth vanilla custard, are said to be the best in Prague.
And her burnt caramel tart was a revelation! Thick, sticky, salted, burnt caramel in a super crispy pastry case. When I first saw that thick layer of caramel I was a little scared that it would be too sickly for us to finish but the addition of a dollop of sour cream really rounds the whole thing out. Delicious! I really need to try and make this one at home!
Staying on the theme of dessert, we had beer ice cream in Prague. Yes, beer ice cream! It was surprisingly delicious. Made with a dark ale, the caramel notes of the beer hit you first and then the alcohol creeps in afterwards. Here, at Cestr, it was served with a roasted plum, caramel foam and malted cookie crumbs.
Lastly, this Czech speciality was sold in street stalls everywhere in Prague! The trdelník is a dough that gets wrapped around a wooden rod and cooked over hot coals, then is served warm. My favourite version was the one below, which was rolled in sugar and hazelnuts and coated with chocolate inside. So yum!
Have you had some delicious food in Prague? What do you think of a travel section? Would you like to see roundups of pastries in more cities? I’d love to hear your thoughts! X
P.S. A big shout out to the gorgeous Prague-based blog, Taste of Prague, as their beautiful site, gorgeous photos and detailed recommendations were the reason we went to so many amazing places in Prague to eat! We loved all of their suggestions, so thank you!
Hello! We’re back home from our trip. I’m finally all settled back in and over my jet lag enough to update the blog! Because last week whenever I tried to edit photos or write a post, I fell asleep on my laptop.
Not even kidding.
Anyway, it’s cold here guys. Like really, really cold. So cold, that I don’t want to leave the house.
This winter has me wanting to stay inside, on the couch, blanket on my lap, mug of something warm in one hand and a good book in the other.
This winter has me wanting to cook proper dinners, like lasagnas, rather than the usual salads I’m typically inclined to make.
It’s just calling for friends to come over and spend long evenings, sitting, chatting, and eating, inside.
That’s exactly how we spent last weekend, and sticky date pudding with warm butterscotch sauce is what I served for dessert.
Easy to make, this pudding is moist, moreish and packed full of dates. Drizzling it with lots of warm butterscotch sauce makes it oh-so-perfect for chilly winter evenings. X
P.S. I’m hoping to get a little travel section started on the blog next week with a roundup of all the delicious things we ate in Europe! Stay tuned
Oh my gosh guys! I’m in Europe! It’s amazing, so nice to be on holiday and enjoying Spring.
We’ve been to Poland to visit my family, went to a lovely wedding in the English countryside and are currently in London! We’re off again tomorrow to Amsterdam, then Prague and Vienna are next. If you have any tips please do tell!
Stay tuned to Instagram for photo updates of my trip (and yummy eats!) too.
But in the mean time, I’ve got a cookie recipe for you!