Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cafe Nadery

Stephen Kirschner is another colleague I had worked with and had not seen for a few years. He had recently decided to switch careers, after several years of working in various restaurants. Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, he had looked forward to many years immersed in kitchens all over New York. So it was a bit of a shock to learn that Stephen had decided to switch careers. He has since been admitted to college and his subject du jour is - Political Science. 

I wish him a delightful career in politics or law and was delighted by our intense conversation on current world affairs. The restaurant world is not for everyone and it is indeed remarkable for Stephen to realise it earlier on, then years later after he's become another unhappy chef, sous chef, waiter etc.

The Cafe takes it's name from the original Cafe Nadery, a staple of the intellectual scene in Teheran for many secular thinkers, writers and artists during the 1940's and onwards.

16 W 8th St, New York, NY
Tel: (212) 260-5407

Banana, nut and choco chip bread

This is a very simple recipe and the ingredients are easy to procure as well. My mother-in-law is an extremely talented baker and when she parceled us a loaf of her delicious walnut and banana bread, I had to attempt to recreate it. 

3 bananas, preferably on the ripe side
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup barley flour
1 cup yoghurt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins and pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Beat whole eggs gently in a bowl, a fork can be used as an electric beater is not required for this recipe. 

2. Sift  whole wheat, barley flour and baking powder through a sifter or a fine mesh sieve. Sifting breaks up clumps, adds air to the flour which helps produce lighter cakes, breads pastries, and makes measurement more uniform. 

3. Add sifted flour slowly to the eggs using a spatula, add all the other ingredients as well. Mash the bananas with a fork before adding them to the batter. Do not over mix. The batter should not look like a paste. Should be slightly chunky and fluffy.

4. Turn the oven to 350 degrees.

5. Once the oven has heated to the required temperature, pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for a little over an hour. 

Your absolutely delicious banana and nut loaf is ready! I substituted sugar for honey as it adds that plump moist texture to cakes and breads. In place of butter or oil I used yoghurt. I also substituted 
all purpose white flour for whole wheat and barley flours. Feel free to use your imagination and give this recipe your own personal twist.