At this time of year, with the weather turning ever colder, damper and more autumnal, it is still too warm to run the Rayburn 24/7 and so we tend to light it every other day or so, run it during the daytime and then let it burn out during the early evening which hopefully leaves us with a comfortable level of residual heat during the night, so it isn’t too hot and stuffy when it comes time for sleep. Another benefit of this part time running of the stove is that it has provided me with the opportunity to dig out my baking stuff and make home made treats for the Mudlets.
With packed lunches to fill and the stove running at optimum baking temperature, I surveyed my available ingredients and then reached for a recipe book. I needed to find something to make with some over ripe bananas that I knew no-one was going to eat but I didn’t want to have to traipse into town to collect half a dozen extra ingredients. As luck would have it, Mary Berry had just the thing in her ‘100 cakes and bakes‘ recipe book: Banana Cake.
With all the ingredients assembled on the kitchen side, I hunted for my loaf tins and couldn’t find them anywhere. I thought for a moment (always a dangerous thing for me to do) and then remembered that back in the spring, I had filed them in the big black filing cabinet, supplied by the Council, under the heading of ‘general household waste’ because they were so old and rusty, they just weren’t safe to use. I had intended to buy replacements but hadn’t quite got around to it! Oops.
Some more thinking and I decided to make a Banana Cake tray bake instead of loaf cake and grabbed my small roasting tray (8″ x 10″), greased it …… and then realised that I didn’t have any greaseproof paper to line it with! Oops. In my defense I would like to remind you that I don’t do much in the way of baking during the summer months, due to my having to do virtually all my cooking on the gas barbeque outside, so suddenly finding myself without essentials such as greaseproof, bun cases and baking tins is not too surprising really.
Anyway, I did have plenty of foil and so I lined my tray with foil, greased that as well and then set to making the cake. What I love about Marys’ cake recipes is that they more often than not say to just pop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined! None of this, ‘cream butter and sugar together, beat in eggs one at a time….’ etc etc which is the method I have religiously followed for years and years. The first time I tried the ‘everything together’ method, I was dubious but it worked and I should say that not all her recipes use this approach.
Once mixed, the cake batter was then poured into the tin and carefully leveled and then I popped it into the oven which was showing a temperature of approximately 180c (350F/gas mark 4) and it took about 40 minutes for the cake to bake. Remember my temperatures and times are guides only, as a solid fueled oven can not be regulated like a gas or electric oven and once the oven door is opened, it lets the cool air in which adds time onto the overall cooking time, as it takes time to rebuild the heat.
Once cooled I cut the cake into fingers. The Mudlets loved the cake as it was almost Banoffee like in taste but although I love Banoffee Pie, I wasn’t keen on the flavour of this cake and Mud didn’t even try it as far as I am aware. It was a good way to use up some over ripe bananas and I would make it again for the girls and as the recipe said it was a good cake to freeze, half of the cake is in the freezer, ready for use in pack ups at a later date. So that’s another Mary Berry recipe tried and tasted, with mixed reviews but the girls loved it and, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters really.
Recipe number 5 completed which leaves 95 to go.