Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bananas, Breakfast and all that jazz

Taste & Create, the wonderful event hosted by Nicole of "For the Love of Food" is back and this month my partner is Erin of Skinny Gourmet. A PhD researcher from windy Chicago, Erin has spent a lot of time in Ghana recently. Her well travelled lifesytle shows in her eclectic mix of recipes. And even these recipes are only the front to a rich mix of stories - on her life in Ghana, about her grandmother, other seemingly day-to-day things that become vibrantly alive in her telling.

For this month's challenge, I decided to make her Banana Breakfast Bars. Surprisingly for me, I struck very close to her recipe. In fact, the basic cake dough is absolutely the same as she makes it - cream 20 gms butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix 3/4 cup regular flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and a tsp each of cinammon powder and baking powder. Mix these with butter and sugar. Now add 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup mashed banana. Mix well and spread half the dough in a baking pan lined with waxed paper (I used a square glass dish, and liberally buttered the paper).

Here's where our paths diverge slightly. Erin recommends a filling of figs or apricots but I looking for a spot of color here. I chopped glace cherries and spread them on top of the dough.

Then spread the remaining dough on the filling and even it out. Sprinkle oats to top your dough (I left out the flax seeds that Erin suggested). Following the rule of "glass heats up late, but heats too much", I reduced the oven temparature to 190C and baked it for around 35 minutes. I was testing for doneness around 25 minutes but the toothpick came out clean maybe 10-15 minutes later.

Erin did say they are breakfast bars, but I would personally call my end product banana bread as it was way too soft. I left it to cool and then cut it into squares.



Nicole always asks for a one-liner to go with the entry, and here's mine : An amazing combination - delectably rich and moist, but still good for you.

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