Let’s talk about rainy Summer days. This morning we woke and my first thought was that we’d skipped August altogether and had somehow been transported to the  middle of September.
The morning air was crisp and the sky grey and gloomy. Jenna on the other hand didn’t mind at all a morning walk through soggy woods, the dew on the ground much appreciated after the recent heat wave. While zigzagging through wet leaves and bushes we encountered a small herd of elusive roe deer (six, I think) which were not nearly as amused as I was and did mostly what deer do: which is first panic and second hop off into the undergrowth.

Back at the house my socks and feet are wet and I’m feeling a bit uneasy to tell you the truth. I’m wondering if summer’s over with already and whether or not I should start brewing hot teas and rearranging the wardrobe with more seasonal attire. No, I’m being silly. I tell myself this is only the beginning of August and that means plenty of time for balmy dinners outside in the front garden and evening strolls with a gelato in tow. I check  the weather forecast for the couple of days ahead just to be sure, and it’s scorching sun all next week. Yes.

Today though, I’ve dried off and decided to beat the blues and enjoy the nice breeze by baking a rather cozy cake. It just sounded the right thing to do.

I hope you will excuse me presenting you with a recipe which has absolutely nothing to do with an Italian Summer day but my intent was solely to bring comfort to anyone in an (unexpected) rainy Summer morning situation.

This cake is nothing fancy, it’s an easy treat and the perfect accompaniment to a nice mug of coffee or afternoon tea with a good book.

90ml milk of your choice (I normally use rice milk)
6 Tbsp. veg oil or coconut oil
6 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 medium mashed ripe bananas
1 tbsp chia seeds+3 tbsp water
250gr flour (150gr self raising +50 rice flour+ 50 wholemeal flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder or cream tartar
½ tsp. sea salt
100gr chopped nuts + seeds (I used walnuts, pecans, flax and pumpkin seeds)
120gr chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 180° C.
Make the chia ‘egg’.
Put the milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and bananas in a blender and blend until smooth.

 In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add banana mixture and combine using as few stroked as possible. Fold in nuts and chocolate.

Pour into a 24-cm cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (1 hour and 10 min in my oven). If using a ring cake tin 35 minutes are enough.

And when the time came to take the cake out of the oven the clouds opened up just enough to show the glowing turquoise of an August sky. Typical.

Cheers to Summer and banana bread.

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