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Culinary Not-Fail and Other Stories

July 14, 2010

I have this thing about buying fruit. I always think I’m going to eat it and then I never manage to eat all that I buy (when I have money to buy lots of fruit). I like buying bananas because they’re inexpensive and yummy, but they go bad more quickly than most things (except maybe strawberries), so I don’t buy them often. A week or so ago, I bought some bananas, and they were looking well overripe but not quite overripe enough to make proper banana bread – and I never make banana bread anyway. But…in the spirit of waste not want not, and because who really needs a reason for baking, I decided to give it a shot.

The raspberries and chocolate snuck in of their own accord. Totally not my fault.

I, um, forgot one important fact when I set off on this journey (besides that I’ve never made banana bread in my life): I don’t own a bread loaf pan. (Or a bread maker, for that matter, although you don’t need that for yummy fruity breads, but I really, really, really want one of each insha’Allah. Someday.) But…there are worse things to be left without – I was hoping that if I made enough to share I’d be able to cut the final product up into pieces and give some to my roommates and Chinese classmates, so I considered doing muffins. Except muffins must be done in batches and I was exhausted. (I also had the good intention of making Rotel for proper dinner, but you know what they say about good intentions – I could barely stand I was so wiped out after making this and washing clothes. Besides, I can always make Rotel tomorrow night.) So, anyway, I eventually decided upon just throwing it in a square pan.

Big, big, huge, massive mistake. (Yummy, gorgeous mistake, but mistake nonetheless.) I ended up with an overfull pan and cookie baking on the bottom of the oven, which is always fun. So upon my roommate’s advice I stuck a cookie sheet underneath, but then, of course, the cookie sheet began overflowing. I eventually gave up and poured the whole half-baked mess into a new rectangular pan, then forced my roommate to help me eat the half-baked overflow on the cookie sheet.

Now, since I’d just sort of made up this recipe I was a little nervous, but her reaction (one of those wordless moments where you eat something so good that you are rendered speechless – she and I love chocolate and fruit with equal gusto so we were on the same wavelength) reassured me somewhat. I thanked her profusely for helping me. She was all, “You’re such an awful roommate, the things I do for you, I swear.”

Verdict: As my mother would say, it’s slap your mama good. The thing I like most about it – which my roommate remarked upon – is that with the brown sugar and spices and semisweet chocolate, it has a lot of flavor, but it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. I do recommend biting the bullet and doing it in muffin batches. Or proper loaf pans. Or just throw the whole thing in a 9×12 pan. But seriously…all this awesome tasting stuff in one place? Obviously gonna be awesome. Even the very messy half-baked drippings.

(And besides, Saya can make it since it doesn’t have weird American prepackaged ingredients. XD)

Banana Raspberry Chocolate Bread

3 cups flour
~1 tsp each of vanilla extract, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt and cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening or butter, softened
1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
~3 mashed overripe bananas
~6oz. raspberries
~12oz. chocolate chips

Cream together butter or shortening and sugar. Slowly mix in eggs, spices, applesauce, and vanilla extract until smooth. Blend in bananas, then slowly begin blending in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Finally, fold in raspberries and chocolate. You can totally substitute or add just about anything else, like nuts, other fruit, etc.

Bake at 350F until a toothpick comes out clean (about 60-75 minutes).

5 Comments leave one →
  1. sana113 permalink
    July 14, 2010 3:58 pm

    Interesting combo. I should try it out. One day. When I’m not in India where fruit now has doubled in cost and is half the quality. SIGH. Why can’t I get a crisp apple? Anywhere. 😦

  2. ZPurpleify permalink
    July 15, 2010 12:37 am

    Wow, that’s an interesting mix! I, myself just made Chocolate Banana bread today, for the same reason as you – Over ripe Bananas. I find the fruit here goes off so quickly, the strawberries I buy are no where near the quality I used to get back home in England – and I’m not saying M&S quality (which, by the way is waaay better than anyone else!) Glad you enjoyed it though – that’s the fun of baking, the eating (whether turned out right or not)!

  3. fjafjan permalink
    July 31, 2010 2:43 am

    Completely done banana bread is for suckers, it should still be a bit sticky and yummy! so 45-50 minutes or untill the tooth pick is gooey at the top inch. Nom nom nom…

  4. August 5, 2010 11:02 pm

    This recipe is not helpful at 12 o cloc k at night with nary a semi ripened banananana in site! 😛
    Sounds deliciiiicious. 🙂

  5. August 6, 2010 10:32 pm

    Lemme tell you why I fail at following recipes.

    We had overripe bananas.

    I wrote out your recipe. I went to make it.

    – Firstly: no brown sugar. Fine, I’ll use jaggery gur instead, right?
    – No cloves, allspice or cinnamon either, so I just put in some other spice that was the same colour, some Egyptian mix.
    – I couldn’t bear to use as much sugar or margarine as the recipe required. So I used less.
    – I ran out of self-raising flour, so I made up the remaining two cups with wholemeal chapatti flour.
    – Wait, did the recipe say RASPBERRIES? Oops. Well the blueberries will just have to do. And I have no idea how much 6oz is, so I put as much as we had left – a large handful.
    – No chocolate chips, but I did have one big bar of dark cooking chocolate I’d been saving (for brownies XD) so I chopped it up and it did the same job.
    – I found a packet of crumble mix. In fact, I’d been eyeing it for days. After I put the batter in the tin, I sprinkled said crumble mix over it. I don’t know why. I just did it.
    – What, I totally forgot about subbing the apple sauce with something, what kind of a person am I?!?!

    …and it tastes just fine. Not heavenly, but very passable. I kind of wish I hadn’t put the crumble mix over the top because the tastes are quite different.

    But hey, different isn’t bad! And now I know what happens when you put gur in a cake, and also when you put crumble mix on it. XD XD

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