Despite all of my grumblings in the past about the American influence upon our traditional British Hallowe’en, I confess to having fallen head of heels with the way that North America embraces my favourite season, Autumn.
By the beginning of this month I found myself heading to TKMaxx (the British version of North America’s TJMaxx) in the hope that there were decorations in reds, browns and golds a plenty, and the greatest hope of all, to find a Nordic Ware “fall” baking pan, and at a bargain price.
As you can see from the photograph above, I was successful in finding a modest and seasonal wreath, but the pan was to prove allusive.
Enter Jersey Jackie: my dear, dear friend that I made on Instagram; lover of bread baking and pasta making; fellow food nerd; woman of curious mind; and demonstrator of precision skills in all that she does. We had planned for her to come to Scotland for a holiday. We would be meeting for the first time when she landed at Glasgow airport for a week filled with a million questions, comparisons, kitchen adventures, eating, sight seeing, and great laughter.
Jersey Jackie (her nickname in our house, but to most people she is just Jackie) arrived laden with the greatest array of American produce that I have ever seen; NJ hats, t-shirts and baseballs for the kids; and the most beautiful Nordic Ware fall-themed loaf tin. We were overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness.
She came with an assortment of baking chips, or morsels, which I had been keen to sample as most are not available here. I have so many recipe ideas for these ingredients, but the first I used were the Butterscotch chips, which leads me to today’s recipe. And I think it’s pretty autumnal.
Banana, Pecan & Butterscotch Loaf
190g of Self Raising Flour
1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
125g of Melted Butter
120g of Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3 Large ripe Bananas, mashed.
80g of Pecans, toasted
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
150g of Butterscotch Chips
2 Tablespoons of Caramel
- Preheat the oven at 170C (150C fan) and line a loaf tin.
- Mix the Flour, Baking Powder, and Bicarbonate of Soda together.
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and the sugar. Then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking in between. Now add the mashed banana.
- Stir in the vanilla extract, 60g of the Pecans, chopped, and the Butterscotch Chips.
- Fold in the dry mix, one third at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Pour into the lined loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Test if it is ready by inserting a skewer: it should come out clean.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack and cooling completely.
- Decorate as you wish, but I drizzled over some warmed caramel (I used Carnation’s ready made, but you may prefer your own or buy Dulce de Leche) and sprinkled the other 20g of pecans over the top.
The loaf was very sweet and very moist.
I have to say, I was in two minds about the butterscotch: it was very nearly the peanut butter chips, which I think would make an excellent addition to any banana loaf. Maybe next time.
So, expect more recipes with some of these North American ingredients. Expect me to get a little bit giddy over pumpkin recipes (I have my cupboard stocked with canned pumpkin already). And expect me to praise the season that I most love, with its orchard fruits and berries, spices, nuts, caramel flavours, and hearty food. Before we can excited about Christmas, we have Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night to cater for; crisp, sunny (I hope) mornings for walks with our puppy; and the perfect excuse to enjoy a Sunday roast with the family. It all sounds pretty perfect to me.