Wattleseed. Australian Bush Foods.
It’s an entirely novel food experience discovering the vast world of native Australian plant foods including quandong, Kakadu plums, rosellas, riberries, sea parsley, finger limes, mountain pepper, lemon myrtle, and wattleseed.
Wattleseed tastes like a sultry spicy blend of chocolate, coffee, raisins, and vanilla rolled into a tiny shiny spiced pearl. It is a mainstay of the indigenous diet for over 40,000 years. Traditionally Aboriginal Australian women would collect the pods and parch the seeds with fire, before grinding the seeds into flour. The flour would be mixed with water and made into a cake. These cakes were baked in the fire and eaten immediately or stored for later.
Who am I to disagree with a 40,000-year-old tradition? Make cake. Bake cake. Eat cake. Store cake. Hmmh, let me know how you get on with the storing part.
Dark chocolate, walnut & tahini swirl banana bread with Wattleseed notes
Makes. One whopper loaf. Takes. 10 minutes prep plus baking time.
2 large very ripe or over-ripe bananas, mashed
2 extra-large organic eggs (3 regular sized eggs)
3/4 cup natural moo yoghurt or 1/4 cup coconut yoghurt & 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk
1/2 cup Irish rapeseed oil/light cold-pressed olive oil
2 cups self-raising flour – I love Dove’s Farm**
1 cup organic raw cane sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder – I always use gluten-free baking powder even if the cake is not GF!
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp wattleseed, gently toasted and crushed into powder
1 large banana, no black marks for decorating the top
1 handful of toasted walnuts – don’t skip toasting the walnuts. Trust me.
1/3 cup of light coloured tahini
200g dark chocolate, Green & Blacks 70% is a winner
toasted coconut shavings to decorate
2 Tbsp raw cane sugar plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder mixed together
**Dove’s Farm organic flour may only be available in Ireland and the UK. Try to source an organic milled flour it makes the world of difference. I will report my findings on substituting spelt flour once the tasting trials are completed.
Heat the oven to 350°F / 170°c. Grease and line a standard loaf tin with parchment paper. Make sure to grease the inside of the parchment paper with a little olive oil to prevent the bread from sticking.
Whisk the eggs scantly in a small bowl. In a large bowl combine the mashed bananas with the whisked eggs. Add the yogurt of choice or coconut milk and oil. Beat together for about 20 seconds. Next stir in the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, wattleseed if using, and mix well. Gently fold in half of the chocolate bar shards and nearly all the walnuts. Pour into the prepared tin. Grab a spoon and swirl the tahini into the top of the mixture. Next, take the unblemished banana in its skin, and slice it down the middle. Carefully peel back the skin keeping the banana halves intact. Place the two pieces of banana spooning each other. They should resemble two half-moons facing each other, one slightly higher than the other.
Unleash your inner Picasso and stud the bread with remaining chocolate shards. Artistically scatter the last walnuts with wild abandon. In the tin that is. Finally sprinkling the banana with cinnamon sugar mixture and drop the coconut from a height with a generous dose of lassiez-faire.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the cake tester/knife comes out clean. It is a massive loaf so make sure to test it in the middle. It all depends on your oven. In my oven, it takes closer to 60 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack. I don’t leave it to cool for too long as I want to devour the melted chocolate. It freezes like a dream. This loaf recipe was re-interpreted and adapted from the kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson’s heavenly banana bread with cardamom and cacao nibs.
Only my serving suggestion. Cut in generous chunks, toast, and lather with lashings of Kerrygold butter. For your second slice and we all know there will be a second slice. Top with almond butter, chopped banana, cacao nibs, toasted coconut, and a drizzle of raw honey/maple syrup / brown rice syrup. Now go and put on the kettle for the tea.