Culinary Not-Fail and Other Stories
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
~3 mashed overripe bananas
~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).