There is an old saying that predates the digital era; ‘the camera never lies.’ Any of you who have even a passing knowledge of Adobe Photoshop (it’s not a Mexican film processor btw) will know that time has passed that particular adage by. The camera is an almost compulsive teller of half-truths and worse. I relay this to you because I had a small amount of trouble when I decided to use up some festering fruit and bake a Banana and Walnut Bread. It was my first go and as regular readers know, not everything I try works out perfectly on the first attempt.
Now, rather than cause you all some shock by telling you if and how it all went wrong, I will give you options. Pick which version of events you want to believe and, at the end, take my simple truth test.
First the ingredients:
- 285 grammes of self-raising flour
- 225 grammes of caster sugar
- 110 grammes of butter
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 100 ml of milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice squeezed in
- a pinch or two of salt
- 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 festering bananas
Truth A: The choice of self-raising flour was a good idea as this bread can be quite heavy. It helped it raise and made for a light, airy consistency.
Truth B: Using self-raising flour and baking powder was a mistake. It blew up like a barrage balloon and made a huge mess in the oven.
First thing to do is to add the butter to the sugar and beat it until it becomes fluffy and a light colour.
Truth A: This is quite easily done by hand. The exercise is good for you too.
Truth B: This is best done with an electric mixer as your arms will probably fall off before you achieve the desired consistency.
Next add the eggs and vanilla extract.
Beat it some more and you will get a nice gloopy consistency.
Mash the bananas and add them to the mixture.
Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl. Then fold it into the mixture. This requires some more mixing. Roughly crush the walnuts and add them to the mixture, holding the best of them back for topping.
The bread looked great before it went into the oven.
Truth A: I used the picture of the bread before it went in at the top of the post because it is a lovely photo in its own right.
Truth B: I used it because of the mess that came out of the oven could not be used to attract you into this diatribe.
The bread got baked for an hour and a quarter at 180ºC. When I took it out, it looked like this (no hiding this particular truth).
Allow the bread to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Then turn it out onto a cooling rack.
Truth A: Despite the bread looking a little odd, it popped out of the baking tin with ease. Baking really is very simple.
Truth B: Despite greasing the tin with more butter than a long distance swimmer would use to cross the English Channel, the bread got badly stuck and I had to prise, hack and cut it out of the tin.
Let the bread cool down for another hour before slicing it and serving it with tea and a generous layer of butter.
Truth A: The beautiful banana bread held together wonderfully and I even nibbled a bit from the corner of this slice before photographing it.
Truth B: Having had to slice the top off the bread to get it out of the tin, I had to piece it together and use the butter to hide the Frankenstein like scars.
Now, the moment of truth for you. Is it Truth A or Truth B? I know what it should be. Whichever truth you decide will suit you, the banana bread was delicious. It really was moist and very tasty. And that is the truth, honestly…