Sunday, September 10, 2006

Banana and Honey Bread

It was about time for a failure, and here it is right on cue. The first of many to be sure. The dismal outcome pictured below is banana and honey bread from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days With the Naked Chef.

This recipe seemed the perfect thing to try. After my wild success with Nigella's whirligig buns, I was keen to try some more yeast recipes. Then I found some pre-cyclone bananas in the bottom of the freezer. I'm not sure how long frozen fruit is supposed to last, so I thought I should use them asap.

Alas, they were heavy, dense, doughy, salty and all round revolting. I could easily have broken a window if I had thought to heave one in the right direction.

There are a few problems with the recipe and my preparation that I can identify.

First of all, the recipe called for six bananas. This should then be topped up with water to make up 625ml. Well, english bananas must be puny because five bananas easily exceeded 625ml on their own. I think this dominance of bananas contributed to the heaviness of the dough. It struggled to rise, and then it was a pretty poor effort.

Next, the recipe called for two tablespoons of sea salt. This seemed too much, but I went with it anyway. Big mistake.

Third, the heaviness of the dough totally threw out the cooking times. The recipe said 20 minutes at 190C. At that time the buns were still raw dough. It was only after 40 minutes that they approached a bread like consistency.

Needless to say, one bite and into the bin. Oh well, live and learn. On to the next thing.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bills Buttermilk Cake

I really, really like this cake. I have always found Bill Granger's recipes to be both easy and delicious. This cake did not let me down. It's from bills food.

The cake is very light and moist and has a curious but delicious flavour that I find difficult to describe. It's kind of a milky taste, sort of.

It's a fairly basic cake recipe, so it was dead easy to make.

The recipe is for a raspberry syrup topping. But I was seduced by some lovely sticks of rhubarb at the farmer's market. So instead I made up a raspberry and rhubarb sauce. It was basically the same recipe only with fewer raspberries and the rhubarb.

While it was delicious cold, I found it best still warm from the oven. The crumb of the cake was incredibly light and tender. Yummy.

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