Banana Almond Bread Recipe – Redwall

Nut breads make many appearances throughout the Redwall series, and it makes sense. Squirrels, mice, and other small critters do eat a lot of nuts and seeds. This banana almond bread was inspired by the nut bread Matthias eats for breakfast in the first Redwall book.

As a kid, I was never a fan of banana nut bread, but then I realized that it was the walnuts everybody used that I didn’t like. Banana bread is delicious, but I am not a fan of walnuts. So, when I decided to make a nut bread inspired by Redwall, I set out to find a recipe that used a different kind of nut. I found all sorts of interesting recipes, including a coconut bread with macadamia nuts, which sounded amazing, but I figured macadamia nuts were a little too exotic for Redwall. I finally settled on a banana almond bread recipe from Your Cup of Cake. I altered the recipe a bit to fit my needs. First, I incorporated the almonds into the bread itself, whereas the original recipe put the almonds on the top. Second, I divided the recipe in half to make only one loaf instead of two.

Cook up a loaf of this banana almond bread for the perfect Redwall breakfast.

Cook up a loaf of this banana almond bread for the perfect Redwall breakfast.

Banana Almond Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
  2. Add the egg, and mix until fluffy
  3. Pour the milk and flavor extracts into the mix, and stir well.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just incorporated (don’t overmix!)
  5. Add the bananas and almonds and mix until you can’t see big chunks of banana anymore.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on top. If the bread starts to get too brown on top before it’s finished cooking in the middle, cover it with some foil for the duration of the cooking period.

Let me tell you, this almond bread smelled absolutely divine while it was baking, and it tasted amazing, too. I can’t wait to experiment with other nut breads in the future, perhaps for another Redwall breakfast menu!

 

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Simple Redwall Breakfast Menu

Redwall is the first book in a long series by Brian Jacques. This series follows the mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, and other animals who live in the iconic Redwall Abbey. It is one of my favorite series, and I just love to get lost in its world. In the Redwall series, food is practically a supporting character. Mr. Jacques describes the food in great detail, and it really gives the reader a good idea of what life is like at the Redwall Abbey and beyond.

Sometimes Redwall Abbey hosts great feasts, but other times characters dine on simpler fare. Such is the case with this Redwall breakfast menu. This is one of the breakfasts that Matthias, the main character in the first book, eats while he tries to figure out how to defend Redwall Abbey from Cluny the Scourge.

Fuel up for the day with this Redwall breakfast.

Fuel up for the day with this Redwall breakfast.

The creatures of Redwall Abbey are pescatarians, meaning they do not eat meat, but they do eat fish. Their diet mainly consists of foods made with nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. This particular meal consists of nut bread, apples, and fresh goat’s milk. If you’re not a fan of goat’s milk, I’m sure substituting cow’s milk or a non-dairy milk would still be in the spirit of Redwall.

Redwall Breakfast Menu

Check out the recipe I used for banana almond bread, or make your own nut bread. Since the book was non-specific as to what kind of nut bread Matthias ate, you can have some fun with it and use your imagination. Use any kind of nut you choose. You can also make pumpkin nut bread or coconut nut bread, or another variation other than banana bread.

Pair your favorite nut bread with some fresh apples and a bowl (or cup) of goat’s milk to really transport yourself to Redwall Abbey. Yum!

redwall-breakfast-menu

 

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Clotted Cream – Three Methods – The Hobbit

In The Hobbit, Beorn serves clotted cream to Bilbo and friends while they’re staying at his house. As an American, clotted cream is not something you can usually just buy off any old shelf, so I researched how to make my own. I found several different clotted cream recipes at Fearless Fresh. I decided to share some of my favorites with you so that you can decide which one works best for you. As a side note, the recipe says to not use ultra-pasteurized heavy cream, but that was all I could find, no matter how many stores I went to. I used ultra-pasteurized, and it turned out fine, though I admit it probably would have been better with non-ultra-pasteurized cream.

Serve clotted cream with your Hobbit feast

Serve clotted cream with your Hobbit feast

Clotted Cream – Three Methods

  1. Quick Devonshire Cream – This is one of the quickest ways to make clotted cream, though some may say that it isn’t as good as the other methods. This is the one I used for this menu, and I thought it turned out great. It’s a little runnier than the other methods, which produce thicker cream, but flavor is all there.
  2. Slow Cooker Method – This method takes longer but has a richer result. Be careful to check in on it every once in a while, though, to make sure that the cream is not burning on the edges.
  3. Buy jarred clotted cream. Okay, this is kind of cheating, but it’s definitely the easiest way, especially living in the United States, where it’s hard to find the proper ingredients. You can either buy it from a specialty store, or you can find a jar online and have it shipped to you. This will definitely be the most expensive option, though.

There you have it. If you’re looking to serve up a Hobbit meal and need some clotted cream to serve with scones or honey cakes, there are several ways you can accomplish it. Enjoy!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from all sales made through those links. Rest assured, this doesn’t cost you any extra money!

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes – The Hobbit

When I decided to do a full menu based on the food that Beorn provides for the company in The Hobbit, I knew that twice-baked honey cakes had to be on the menu. As I was researching, I found many different versions of the honey cake recipe, but a lot of them were not very true to the book. They either were not twice baked, as the book states, or they had frosting and other messy things on them that would not travel well. And these cakes, after all, were created in the book specifically with travel in mind.

Beorn's Twice-Baked Honey Cakes are perfect for adventures!

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes are perfect for adventures!

Finally, I found a couple recipes that were perfect. I based my recipe for Beorn’s twice-baked honey cakes on these two recipes from Food in Literature and Kitchen Overlord. I used elements from both these recipes and made a few adjustments of my own to come up with the following recipe:

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Extra honey, as a glaze

Directions

  1. Mix the softened butter and the honey together until well incorporated.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and blend well.
  6. Shape the dough into small cakes (I used a brownie edge pan, pictured below. Best invention ever!)twice-baked-cakes
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  8. Take the cakes out of the pan and place them on a cookie sheet.
  9. Brush the tops of the cakes with honey, and let the honey soak in for a minute.
  10. Bake the cakes for 10 more minutes on each side.

The honey will harden into a sweet glaze as it bakes, and the cakes will have a nice firm crust, perfect for taking with you on adventures. I believe these cakes are something Beorn himself would be proud of!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Don’t worry, though, this costs you nothing extra!

Beorn’s Traveling Provisions – The Hobbit Menu

“…and he would lade them with food to last them for weeks with care, and packed so as to be as easy as possible to carry–nuts, flour, sealed jars of dried fruits, and red earthenware pots of honey, and twice-baked cakes that would keep good a long time, and on a little of which they could march far. The making of these was one of his secrets; but honey was in them…and they were good to eat, though they made one thirsty.”

-The Hobbit, page 132

Be prepared for any adventure with this Hobbit menu

Be prepared for any adventure with this Hobbit menu

The Hobbit is my very favorite book of all time. I love the simple beauty of this story, so I am incredibly excited to bring you the first of what I hope to be many Hobbit menus. Hobbits love to eat, and so Tolkien write about several feasts and types of foods throughout The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In The Hobbit, Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarf company stop and rest on their journey for a time with Beorn. For those of you who have not read the book or seen the movie (and why not?!), Beorn is a sort of part bear, part human (though he is much more than that, this is the simplest explanation for those of you not familiar with the story). Because of this, a lot of the foods he cooks include honey.

When the company leaves Beorn’s house to continue their adventure, Beorn loads up their horses with lots of traveling provisions. Based on the snippet from the book quoted above, I’ve created the following menu.

Beorn’s Traveling Provisions – The Hobbit Menu

  • Bread
  • Honey -It’s important to use a good, high-quality honey for this, since it’s such a prominent aspect of the menu. If you’ve only ever eaten grocery store honey, you won’t believe the taste difference when you try a high-quality honey! Good honey is one of life’s simple pleasures, and I think Beorn would agree.
  • Butter
  • Clotted Cream
  • Dried Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Twice-Baked Honey Cakes

I included bread and clotted cream, because those foods are mentioned earlier in the story as things that are served to Bilbo and company while staying at Beorn’s house.

Stay tuned for a recipe for twice-baked honey cakes, and a post all about clotted cream. The rest of the provisions you can easily buy at any grocery store. I bought honey roasted nuts, of course, since that fits in with Beorn’s theme. Gather your supplies and get ready for an adventure with this Hobbit menu!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂