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Recipe Rescue: Dark Chocolate Orange Banana Bread

Each week, Bangbelly brings you Recipe Rescue, with a pantry-friendly, easy to execute dish sure to impress your nearest and dearest.

Bought too many bananas the last time you risked it all to go to the store? Has that orange gone soft sitting on the counter while you’ve reached for “quarantine” chips instead? (no judgment)

We’ve got a solution for all of your woes in the form of Dark Chocolate Orange Banana Bread. This is a recipe that is equal parts easy and delicious, not to mention its pantry-friendly. And, as a bonus, you’ll be able to save that doomed fruit lingering on your counter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 4 large very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup orange juice, reduced to 1/4 cup
  • 1 orange, 6 thin slices with the peel on, the remainder of flesh diced and added into juice reduction (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Peel bananas and add to mixing bowl
  3. Melt butter (lightly brown the butter if you want a little added flavour); pour over bananas and let sit for 5 mins
  4. Mash bananas until fairly smooth; add brown sugar, sour cream, orange/juice reduction, and eggs, whisking vigorously until combined
  5. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine
  6. Fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture along with chocolate and walnuts; do not over mix, some streaks of flour are ok
  7. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (8.5” x 4.5”)
  8. Pat orange slices dry and layer atop the batter, sprinkle oranges and top of the loaf with granulated sugar
  9. Bake for 55-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean; let cool in pan and then remove to rack until completely cool
  10. Once cool, slice it up, share if you want and try not to eat it all at once 

It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green

As Kermit himself acknowledges, ‘it’s not easy bein’ green.’ But, it is essential. Or, at least that’s what we believe. That’s why we endeavor to implement as many eco-friendly practices as possible, and why we remain open to suggestions for how to improve.

The restaurant industry is notoriously wasteful; therefore, it is critical that we do our part to limit our effect on the environment. Though we are just a small café, located on a tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic, we know that our practices can still have impact.

Naturally, we make sure to recycle whatever we can. In the summer, we are able to provide local gardens and farms with our compostables, and at all times we are fastidious about limiting our waste output.

Some of the small ways in which we endeavor to do our part include the exclusive use of LED lights, paper straws, compostable and eco-friendly single-use cups, bamboo take-away cutlery, cloth napkins and bathroom linens. Our procurement philosophy also sees that we partner with companies that boast the highest ethical standards, taking into account their own global impact.

If you would like to learn more about our purchasing strategies, click here.

Update: Delayed Opening in Response to COVID-19

Dear Bangbelly Family, 

We are writing today with a message regarding our ongoing response to COVID-19 and our responsibility to you as valued guests and patrons.

Many of you know that we intended to re-open our doors for the season in mid-March. It is with careful consideration that we have decided to extend our closure, to reflect recommended health protocols during this time of global challenge. 

We are taking this measure with the well-being of our community, and the world at large, in mind. Together we can flatten the curve

Our anticipated re-opening is now scheduled for Thursday April 2, 2020; pending further developments

We will also be operating as a cashless business until further notice

In the meantime, we will be practicing self-isolation, and social-distancing, while we refine and perfect our menus and dream up new ways of conducting business. 

Upon re-opening, we ask that our patrons return the favour by practicing self-isolation if necessary, in consideration of our community.

For your safety and comfort we will be monitoring the health and well-being of our staff, and commit to providing them additional support should it be required for them to forgo work.

Further to this, we will be conducting additional sanitization practices on top of our daily cleaning routines. And, while it should go without saying, we will continue to practice thorough and regular hand washing and sanitizing.

Before we wrap up, we have one small request: Please do whatever you can to support your local restaurants and small businesses. 

At Bangbelly, we are fortunate enough to be able to afford some flexibility, and while this temporary slow-down is irksome and concerning, we believe in our ability to rebound. We know we will be okay.

We ask that you join us in solidarity with our fellow small business owners and show your support by purchasing merch, gift cards, and necessities from your Mom-and-Pops wherever possible. Don’t forget to tip well too! Many small businesses, especially those in the restaurant industry, operate on razor-thin margins and your ongoing support can mean all the difference. 

If you, like us, are feeling a bit powerless in this climate of self-preservation and resource-hoarding may we recommend a donation to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund? We’re fairly confident that your contribution will make you feel better about humanity, and it will have a positive and important impact on those without the same access to health care or prepared health systems.

As always, we cannot thank you enough for your endorsement and patronage. Wishing you all a happy, healthy March Month.

See you as soon as possible!

Your friends at Bangbelly

Cake for Breakfast

Here at Bangbelly, we live in a world where cake for breakfast is not entirely unheard of, and we happen to like that world, thankyouverymuch.

If you have ever had the pleasure of trying one of Chef Vicki’s cakes, you’ll understand our 24 hour-a-day obsession. Chocolate or vanilla; fluffy or rich; buttercream or cream cheese, whatever your preference, Vicki makes it sing.

Now, thanks to the benevolent talents of our pastry team, Bangbelly is offering made-to-order cakes for your special events. Prices start at just $25 for two-layer cake, and all cakes are entirely customizable.

To see our current prices, and find some inspiration for your next cake-worthy event see our ‘Cake Menu’ here.

Two Heads are Better than One

We believe in the magic of collaboration. Team work can inspire out-of-the-box-thinking, and greater innovation. It can lead to unexpected and exciting results, and most importantly it can help to broaden one’s perspective.

It is clear to us that your ideas and feedback can only serve to make us better. As always, we are keen to deliver you the best possible service. We believe your ideas and reflections are the pathway to improvement, which is why we want to hear from you!

Have a thought for an event that might work well? Maybe there’s a movie you’d love for us to screen at the café. Perhaps you’ve thought of a menu item you just know people will love. We humbly invite you to send an email to hello@bangelly.com and thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Any and all ideas are welcome and appreciated because we know we don’t have all the answers and we certainly can’t read minds (as hard as we may try).

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Where’s the Merch?

As with all of our products, we are careful to source our Bangbelly merchandise from responsible manufacturers who guarantee safe working environments, fair wages, and environmental responsibility.

So far, the response to our small line of Bangbelly products has been extremely positive, and it is with careful consideration that we wish to expand our offerings.

From our enamel mugs to our organic cotton tote bags, we are constantly on the lookout for new, useful products so that you can take a piece of Bangbelly home with you.

As we prepare for the 2020 season, we are collecting your thoughts and feedback. One thing we’d love to know is whether there is a product you’d like to see on our shelves, or a company you think we should be working with.

Have an idea for more fabulous merch? Drop us a line at hello@bangbelly.com

Bean Juice: The Elixir of Life

Is it too much to suggest that coffee makes the world go ‘round? Because we’re fairly sure that without it, we’d be lost.

To us, extracting the perfect espresso is one-part science, one-part art.

Our espresso of choice is De Mello Palheta’s Dancing Goats. Ethically produced in the Serras de Minas micro-region of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Dancing Goats boasts balanced flavours of vanilla, milk chocolate and dark cherry.

Simply acquiring the right espresso is only half the battle; extraction is, in large part, what makes or breaks a good coffee. Ever had an especially bitter espresso drink and thought to yourself ‘espresso must not be for me’? We beg to differ. A well prepared espresso should not leave you desperate for a palate cleanser; in fact, the right one can be both complex and wholly satisfying.

Here at Bangbelly, we work directly with our roaster (De Mello) to create the perfect Cup of Joe. Roasted to the specifications of our espresso machine, precisely ground, timed and weighed, the consistency and quality of our espresso is something upon which we pride ourselves.

Curious to learn more about coffee extraction? We highly recommend Blue Bottle’s free coffee Brew Guides found here.

Take a Book, Leave a Book

One of the best-loved features of our café is the take-a-book-leave-a-book library. As avid readers, and frequent travellers, we understand the need for an ongoing, revolving supply of books. That’s why we felt it was important to dedicate some of our space to an open library.

Next time you’re at the café, feel free to peruse our shelves of books, which boast a selection of choices for all ages. Don’t have a book to trade? No problem. We’re not keeping track. Wish to contribute a book, or a carload of books? Awesome! Just speak to one of our friendly staff members. We’ll gladly accept books of all kinds.

So, really what we should say is: Take a book, or leave a book, or both, it’s up to you.

Happy reading!

Simply Ir-restrictable

Dining out with dietary restrictions can be a real pain, especially when you are travelling and subject to the sensitivities (or lack thereof) of another cook. For those who have been ‘glutened’ or had to carefully explain the difference between pescetarianism and vegetarianism, we feel you.

This life challenge is precisely why we do whatever we can to accommodate our patrons’ dietary needs and preferences. Many of our dishes can be amended to suit a wide range of concerns, and our chefs are known for their ability to concoct delicious, safe dishes ‘off menu’ when required.

Our philosophy of inclusiveness and community extends to the plate. No diner need go unfed! We truly believe that dining out should present an opportunity to relax – for everyone – which means removing the need for scrutiny and hyper-vigilance. 

Save for special events – such as our recent Thai Supper – Bangbelly maintains a peanut-free space. We offer easy, gluten-free modifications for the majority of our dishes, and vegans need not shy away. Seeds get you down? Allergic to lettuce? Worry not. Just let us know how we can accommodate you.

While cross-contamination is a concern in any competent kitchen, we maintain the highest culinary standards to limit your exposure to the many allergens that are regularly used at the café.

Ultimately, the most important part of maintaining a practice of dietary sensitivity is honesty. If we can’t do it, or we can’t do it safely, we always make sure to let you know, because you should always have agency over what you consume.

Let’s All Go to the Lobby

We’re big cinephiles, which is nerd-speak for ‘we love movies.’

One of the things we love most about the movies is the sense of community that comes from collectively laughing, gasping, or covering your eyes. Simply put, it’s more fun when there are people with whom to share the movie-going experience. And, of course, the movie snacks don’t hurt.

When we decided to mount a projector and hang a movie screen, it was with this experience in mind. Some of our favourite events to date have involved our make-shift cinema.

As we look toward the season ahead, we aim to develop a program of films that will excite and inspire. That’s why we’re looking for your input!

We want to know which movies would you like to see. And better yet, when you best enjoy screenings at the café. To make your recommendations, drop us a line at hello@bangbelly.com as always, we value your feedback and can’t wait to hear your ideas.