Banana loaf experiments & my social media embargo…

This weekend I’m doing something I haven’t done for a very long time…I’m going on holiday. I’m not going anywhere tropical, just an hour or so down the road to a country cottage near to where a good friend is getting married, but I intend to fully sign out from the (cyber) world and attempt to leave my email account(s) unchecked, my Twitter account(s) abandoned and my Facebook status un-updated 🙂 This may not sound like such a big thing, unless like me you are a social media/internet addict! Last year my boss bought me Grace Dent’s book ‘How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop’ it had me laughing out loud, not only at her wit and her insightful ponderings on others’ Twitter behaviour but at the depths of her Twitter addiction. A year on, I wonder what my reaction would be if I read it again and whether I would cringe at the similarities to my own social media tendencies 🙂 But hey ho, as a parting shot, I thought I’d post a blog about this week’s baking adventures. 

The monthly Book and Bake club I go to had rolled around again, this month we were meant to have read Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and have baked a Mary Berry recipe. I failed in a big way on the reading front and didn’t even get as far as buying the book, so to compensate, I baked 4 Mary Berry banana cakes! This may seem a bit excessive but I saw it as a great excuse to a) use up some bananas left over from my latest stint volunteering at FoodCycle Cambridge and b) trial some new recipes.

Here’s the line up… (left to right – banana & honey tealoaf, banana & chocolate chip loaf, gluten free banana, date & walnut loaf, banana & cherry tealoaf)

and again… (clockwise from top right – gluten free banana, date & walnut loaf, banana & cherry tealoaf, banana & honey tealoaf, banana & chocolate chip loaf)

I found all of the recipes online. First up was the banana & chocolate chip loaf 

My chocolate chips gravitated to the bottom of the cake, which however annoying, wasn’t detrimental to the taste. It was amazingly moist and great for the sweet toothed among us 🙂

Next up was the banana & honey teabread, which I discovered on The Goddess Kitchen’s blog…

Now for some reason, my banana & honey teabread didn’t turn out anything like Maria’s pictures. It was the squishiest cake/pudding I’ve ever made and even though I cooked it for 1 hour 30 minutes, longer than the recipe recommended, it showed no sign of setting so I gave in and took it out of the oven, turned my back for a second and when I looked round it had sunk! I was calling this one the failure cake, however, it turned out to be the favourite for a lot of the people who tasted all four! I have a feeling I was over generous with my honey measurements…here’s to happy accidents 🙂

The next one was a bit of an experiment for me as I’ve never ventured into gluten free baking. I stocked up on gluten free flour and baking powder…

and set about making a gluten free version of this banana, date & walnut loaf, which I found on this blog ‘Gardening for Lawyers’

It wasn’t as squidgy as some banana breads I’ve made and eaten in the past but it was absolutely delicious and definitely my favourite! I’ve since made another 2 loaves…

The last experiment was Mary’s banana, date & cherry loaf, which I found posted here on an online forum (see, the internet is a magical thing:)…

It was a classicly yummy banana bread but in my opinion would have benefited from more cherries. Bright red, glace cherries are a guilty pleasure of mine! 

The Book and Bake ladies soon forgave my book reading failure when they found out that they had 4 cakes to try instead of 1!…

So, that’s it from me for at least 4 days…if you see/hear anything from me, I have failed my social media embargo experiment!

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