After a busy week baking loads of sticky Parkin and brightly coloured Hallowe’en goodies, it was lovely to get back to other types of baking. I am trying so hard to lose a few pounds before Christmas but it’s a constant uphill struggle at the moment.
This week I have now changed my working hours around so it was a great weight off my mind to be able to come home, eat a quick lunch, then out for a long walk with my dog and finally on to either baking or the many household chores we have to do. Last Wednesday I chose to bake the Blueberry Banana Bread from the Great British Bake Off book- “How To Turn Everyday Bakes Into Showstoppers”. I had all the right ingredients, or so I thought. I liked the sound of the recipe as I read the list of ingredients, but I was a bit annoyed to find out there wasn’t a picture of the actual bake next to the recipe. Instead there was a picture of Victoria, one of the contestants in the latest series. Not that there was anything wrong with having photos of the contestants, but I do feel every recipe should have a picture with it. The contestants’ pictures could have been at the front or the back of the book. Anyway, rant over! Lets hope that I could create the cake to look like it should have looked like had there been a picture there.
First of all I mixed butter, sugar and runny clear honey together in a mixing bowl and beat it until smooth with my hand held mixer. After that I added the eggs slowly making sure that I beat them well into the honey mixture.
I mashed three medium bananas together, then added them to the first mixture along with some blueberries and some chopped walnuts. The recipe called for dried blueberries, something I didn’t have. I substituted fresh blueberries instead, hoping and praying that they would do the same to the recipe. Finally the flour was added along with baking powder. I also had to substitute ordinary plain flour as the recipe needed spelt flour. Although I love spelt bread, I have never baked with spelt flour as none of my customers have ever asked for it. Once again I hoped my prayers would be answered.
The mixture was tipped into a greased loaf tin which was lined with a loaf tin liner. By this time I was beginning to panic as the recipe said it would take about 50 minutes to bake. It was exactly 50 minutes before I would have to set off to Knaresborough (a journey of about 15-20 minutes) to collect my daughter to take her to her pantomime rehearsal. The oven was already pre-heating, so fingers crossed!
While the cake was baking I did some hoovering and put away some clean clothes, then decided to sit down and answer some emails over a cup of tea. There was a gorgeous banana smell coming from the kitchen so I went to investigate thinking it must be nearly ready. With 10 minutes to spare the cake was still only half cooked. I was surprised and wondered if the temperature was wrong, I checked. It was right. I gave it another ten minutes only to find it was still runny in the middle. As I don’t know how to work my oven timer I had to take the cake out of the oven still runny and start all over again after dinner. So frustrating! I didn’t throw out the whole cake though, as it was only the middle that wasn’t cooked. I cut the runny bit out and thought we could have that bit ourselves!
Four hours later. After dinner, I repeated the whole process. This made for a very late evening at a time when I wanted to be vegging in front of the TV.
At least I knew I could do a bit of vegging while the cake was baking, but I brought the timer into the lounge and put it next to me. This time I kept checking and lo and behold after 55 minutes it was perfectly ready.
After it had cooled down I could decorate it either of two ways. I chose to decorate the Blueberry Banana Bread with a Greek Yoghurt and Honey Frosting, just those two ingredients mixed together in a bowl and spread lavishly on the top of the cake with a large pallette knife. To finish off I scattered fresh blueberries on top of the icing.
The photo below shows the bit of cake that was left over from the first attempt. I decorated it up and cut it into slices so that we could enjoy some. It was delicious and moist. You would definitely need to eat this with a fork or a spoon!