My mum had sad news yesterday. After fifteen years she had to say goodbye to her last cat, Smurf. He had suddenly collapsed a few days ago and was rushed to the vet. After being diagnosed with bad kidney failure he seemed to respond to treatment and the vet was hopeful. But his condition suddenly deteriorated and mum was called in to make that choice that is no choice.
He was a lovely big lad and we got him from neighbours when I still lived at home. (I must have been 14! Good grief!) We also ended up with his mum who sadly passed away a couple of years ago, again from kidney trouble. He was a happy cat who liked the good things; eating, sleeping and love but was also a great little hunter too. Called Smurf because he was blue... no, not really. Can't remember where they name came from but it certainly suited him.
Mum and I live at some distance from each other now so phone support is all I can offer. However my dad is stoping in tomorrow on his way home after a trip away, so I decided to send some comfort food back. I scoured the net for something nice to make and found a Banana and Chocolate bread recipe. I made a few adjustments to it, to fit to my tastes and I thought I would share the result with you all, so you can make Smurf loaf and remember a lovely cat.
It comes out black and white - just like him.
BANANA AND CHOCOLATE SMURF LOAF
100g plain chocolate
175g granulated sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large bananas , peeled and mashed
50g plain or milk chocolate chopped into chunks (or use choc chips)
FOR THE CRUNCH TOPPING
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Chopped walnuts, around 3 tbsp
Oven 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
Grease two 1lb loaf tins.
Make the crunch topping by rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
Melt the chocolate and stir till smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well between each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold into butter mixture.
Add the mashed banana, melted chocolate and chocolate chunks and mix well.
Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and sprinkle on the topping.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a rack, then enjoy!