I think planning is one of the best tools in life, to be prepared for anything and be able to come out on top. As a dessert baker, everyone knows the importance of planning and preparing before hand in order to achieve top results. Butter needs to be soften, eggs at room temp, flour triple shifted; the list is endless but all down for the love of food.
The reason why I am so focused on planning is that it was my first day back at University after a 2 even 3 month break from any kind of structured learning.
From unit guides to book lines, it better to have your stuff together as soon as possible. It is often cited that planning is the key to achieving great marks and as much as it kills me to say this, they are right. I think for those who have been through any kind of education system, we kid ourselves that we will be able to “wing it” on the day or skim through a book before hand and be able to write brilliantly. The results are always the same, it never works. Period
Oh well maybe one day, I will be able to wing a piece of academic something out of thin air.
I have mentioned before I am not a great planner but over the year, I think my skills are getting better. I used to be a very impulsive person especially when I become inspired to cook something, but all the best things that come out of my kitchen have been thought out. Thinking about the flavours, type of mood the food creates and ways to add interest all plague my mind when I think about something to cook. Must be all the reading and learning from many mistakes over the years, both in life and in the kitchen.
Using time when you have it is a great one for those of us who slightly fail when it comes to planning. Often I make cookies, waffles, won tons, tuna or salmon cakes or chicken nuggets for those times of hunger desperation or unexpected visitors. I find these things really save me. For such minimal thought and effort it can save a night time dinner delay or kill the midnight munchies.
While I do not often make quick breads, because I still have problems with it being called bread; My family and friends love all kinds of fruit breads, and of course the number one on their list is banana bread. I recently stumbled upon a bowl of black bananas in my kitchen and the night before saw a recipe for roasted banana bread. It was fate I tell you, not even great planning can cause that kind of baking calling.
Now you wonder why I call this Spicy roasted banana bread. This recipe is not spicy in the hot burning sense, but I used a spice latte mix in order to achieve a deeper tone to the traditional flavours. Similar to chai or the English mixed spice. In addition, the sweet intensity of the roasted bananas highlights the caramel notes with in the spice mix. It is all top off with coarse coffee suagr which slightly dissolves into he crust of the bread, leaving a coating similar to crème brulee when cool. I am using a bread recipe that I love from Two peas and their pod, it always works and you don’t even need to leave out milk or sour cream. How good is that?
Anyway, in life or in the kitchen preparing for the worst will always leave you on top.
Spicy Roasted banana bread
Makes 8 mini loaves
Adpated from Twopeasand theirpod.
4 medium ripe bananas
240 whole wheat flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sachets of spiced latte mix (i used Nescafe)
120g raw caster sugar
100ml canola oil
2 large eggs
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse coffee sugar for sprinkling, optional
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease you mini loaf pan.
Place bananas on a baking sheet and roast, with peels on, for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
Turn oven down to 180 degrees C
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, latte spice mix, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
Remove the roasted bananas from the peels. Mash the bananas with a fork with the syrup juices on the foil and ones collecting when it is cooling.
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Using a mixer or whisk, mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until completely blended.
Pour into the mini loaf pans and sprinkle with coffee sugar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Leave to cool in trays for 10 minutes before turning on to cooling rack.