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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Happy Birthday Grandad!

I was recently sent some lovely silicone Pyrex moulds for children to use in baking. As you can imagine Littlest Baker was very pleased to receive these and we decided the first use just had to be for her Granddad's Birthday last week.
We took the Happy Birthday Loaf shaped mould with us on our visit to stay with my parents with my dad's birthday being on one of the days we were there meaning I wouldn't have to worry about transporting the cake safely all the way there in the car. My dad doesn't tend to have much of a sweet tooth so I didn't want to make anything too fancy or sugary as it would have gone un-eaten. Banana bread it was then!

Image taken from Pyrex website depicting the Happy Birthday loaf mould
                                         

Banana bread is really simple, perfect for little helpers when they're trying out their own range of bake ware!
I didn't leave Littlest Baker to do it on her own partly because she loses interest in baking about half way way through making a recipe and secondly because I had my own new gadget to try out. I have got a Masha which does the job of a stick blender (and a bit more) but without sharp metal blades.
                                       
When making Banana bread I normally use some brown bananas that have been kept in the freezer to save them being throw away, what might not be appetising eaten as is is perfectly adequate for cakes. However as I'd been away from home all week at the point of making this cake I used fresh bananas.

Here's how to make it.

Ingredients:

285g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp salt
110g butter
225g caster sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas
3 fl oz butter milk (or normal milk with 1.5tsp clear vinegar or lemon juice)

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180C (160C Fan)
Sift together the flour, bicarb of soda and salt.
 In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, mashed bananas, butter milk to the butter/sugar mix and mix well. This is where the Masha did a brilliant job! Sadly, didn't get a pic of it in action as I was trying to supervise Littlest Baker whilst working, sure there will be plenty of other opportunities though. 
Fold in the flour until just combined. 
Pour the batter into a loaf tin (which needs to be greased if not silicone) and put in the oven for about 40 minutes or until well risen and golden.

I had one or two problems with the oven at my parent's house, it seems to be a little bit user un-friendly (what's the saying about a bad workman again?) I set it to 160C as it's a fan oven, after around 15 mins I check on the cake and found it raw inside with a rather brown top! So after hastily turning the heat down and covering the cake in foil to prevent further browning I left it in for another 40 minutes or so and managed to get a workable banana bread. The cake came straight out of the silicone mould with ease, and the mould was cleaned in no time due to the fact that silicone is non stick. Not quite the right consistency but my dad said it was delicious non-the-less (liar!)  


Littlest baker was most impressed with the Happy Birthday writing that appeared on the cake, and was very pleased with her creation for her Granddad.
The Masha made the batter lovely and smooth with minimal effort. I must admit I was a bit dubious about how well it would work when I saw it but having used it twice now once for this and secondly for mash potato (where it made perfect, lump free mash in around 30 seconds!) I'm converted and will be using it A LOT more often! It is easy to use, and easy to clean. I look forward to trying it out on soups and sauces in the winter.
There's still a few weeks left of the school holidays and myself and Littlest Baker are planning on trying out the other Pyrex moulds so look out for another post to see what the creations will be!

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