Baking

Peanut butter and bananas

Wednesdays leaving cake was a big success. Unfortunately I was having a lousy day with my Fibromyalgia so I wasn’t there to see the reaction to Tinkerbell. Today was actually her last day with us and a better day for me so I could ask her what she thought. And that was ‘Tinkerbell?’ Apparently her thoughts on seeing the cake went as far as ‘Cake, yum!’ She did appreciate it and loved the taste, which is the main thing.

As yesterday wasn’t the best of days for me I thought I’d try and make myself feel useful at home. And as my trusty mixer was still out another cake seemed a good way to go, so I set about making a banana loaf. This is one of my fiancés favourite cakes and as I don’t like it he gets it all to himself. I haven’t been that easy to live with lately and this is my way of saying ‘thank you for being pacient with me’.

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This was another Merry Berry recipe. I have tried another recipe but it was inedible, it’s what I imagine dwarf bread from Terry Prattchets ‘Diskworld’ would be like. I have found that Merrys recipe never fails. I have found it best not to mash the bananas too much as this release too much water and the cake can be a bit dense, you want it to be lumpy still. Using over ripe bananas gives the loaf a better, more bananary taste, but if they are too over ripe they can also make the loaf a bit dense.

The banana loaf needs 4oz (125g) butter, 6oz (170g) caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 Bananas, 8oz (250g) self raising flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and 2 table spoons of milk. Again Mary uses the ‘all in one’ method but (again) I have found that doing it the old fashion way of creaming the butter and sugar together first gives a soother cake mix. This is then baked at gas mark 4 for one hour. Even though this is called a loaf it is more of a cake and should still be treated like one to check that is cooked all the way through.

I did feel a bit better in my mood after making a cake for my fiancé. As the Dalai Lama teaches us, our own happiness can be found in making others happy. I have also found that taking time out to make something for me also makes me feel a bit better. Not too often so it keeps it special, like I’m really treating myself by doing it. So my treat for me was peanut butter cookies. I haven’t made or had them since I was a kid. They lived up to my memory, they were fantastic and bought back memories of baking with my mum when I was little.

The recipe was taken from ‘The Dairy Book of Home Cookery’. This was the go too book for baking when I was growing up. Its so well used that some of the cake recipe pages have fallen out! When I left home and bought myself a copy I got my mum one as well, she appreciated it but is going to keep using her copy until it falls apart completely.

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The recipe calls them peanut butter crisps and is suppose to make 24 biscuits, I like mine to be nice and soft so I use the same ingredients and only make 12 biscuits. To make the peanut butter cookies you need 2oz (50g) flour, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2oz (50g) butter, 1oz (25g) caster sugar, 2oz (50g) soft brown sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 2oz (50g) peanut butter and 1 egg. Cream together the butter with the sugars, vanilla and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg then stir in the dry ingredients. Drop 24 teaspoons of mixture onto a backing tray, or just 12 drops depending on how crisp or chewy you want them. Then bake for 10-12 mins at gas mark 4, add an extra 5 mins or so if you have gone for making 12.

Happy baking x

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