Even though I am really good in coming up with alternative ways to using a recipe, tweaking this and tweaking that and adjusting it to my own taste, up till now I had never ever made an entire recipe from scratch. Well that is not counting the cooking. I’m talking about baking in particular. Baking, as everyone who bakes knows, is a bit more particular. You can’t just simply throw in a little bit more of that or a little bit more of this; that will upset the delicate balance of the chemical reaction needed to make that cake or make sure that dessert sets. So I still tweaked and added but always within certain limits. I was careful.
But then today I was left with 3 bananas that were clearly very overripe. Ready to be used right now. And while I love banana bread I had never actually made (a really good) one. Tom is not too big a fan of banana, so anything I bake with banana will either be given away or will have to be eaten by me alone. Not an option, so I normally don’t do a lot of banana baking. But these three babies were just yelling at me to have a go. So I started searching through my endless pile of cookbooks for that perfect recipe, featuring the ingredients I had on hand and… couldn’t find it. Well, I found plenty of banana bread or banana cake recipes but just not exactly what I was looking for.
And then I remembered we still had that book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cookingwhich basically explains the various ratios needed to start baking from scratch. So I took out the book, flipped open the chapter on ‘batters’ and read through it carefully. Now for quick breads or muffins the ratio is 2 parts flour, two parts liquid, one part egg and one part butter. Sounds fairly simple I thought.
So I started jotting down the basic ingredients, subtracting some of the fluids for the banana, changing the flours around to give it a bit of different taste, adding fillings, calculating how much salt it would need and how much baking powder. I also didn’t exactly know how much flour I would need to fill a bundt form so I guessed it and based all the other calculations on that. I was close but it was a tiny bit too much making the batter almost overflow the tin!
Set out all my ingredients; eggs, cinnamon, bananas, almond flour, chocolate chunks, butter (made browned butter for this! Sooo good!), pecans, baking powder and measured and weighed and wrote it all down to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And I had so much fun in the process! Going through my cabinets and fridge to see if there was anything else I could add. I am sure there was but I also didn’t want to jinx my first effort so I just went with the safer options.
Ofcourse I am aware of the fact that there must easily be a zillion banana chocolate bread recipes out there and mine is no rocket science but I had so much fun creating the recipe and doing all those calculations. And what’s even better is when all those calculations turn out to be correct…
I knew I had overfilled my Bundt tin just a bit but figured it might just hold. I had to restrain myself from sitting in front of the oven for an hour watching the cake rise and seeing what was happening! But I cannot complain really. Call it beginners luck but the cake turned out completely perfect. Moist on the inside, deliciously crispy on the outside. Not too sweet with just the hint of the almond flour and the burned butter coming through. Maybe add a tiny bit more cinnamon for next time but man, I am so thrilled with this recipe!