344 words on Recipes
When asked about my favourite dishes, I could probably switch to rhyming mode and answer
steak and cake. Where cake has the advantage that it can be made from anything that you may have around in your kitchen as long as there’s some fat, sugar and flour. The other great thing about cakes is that you don’t really have to remember the recipes apart from the general ingredients. As we don’t have a kitchen scale anyway there’d be no benefit in knowing exact measure and you can usually tell when the dough is right by watching its consistency anyway… too stiff will make you reach for some liquid like milk, too soft begs for more flour. Simple as that.
As there were a couple of bananas in the kitchen that were starting to go brown, I went for a banana bread. Not only does this mean you don’t have to eat the squishy and possibly too tasty bananas – I’m not a big fan – having those ‘bad’ bananas is actually better for banana bread as they are more squishy and thus distribute better in the batter and they are their taste is stronger, which is just perfect for banana bread.
And making it was simple. First get some fat (around 200g of margarine I’d guess), whip it up a bit then add some sugar (150g?), vanilla sugar, baking powder (I used around half a German pack, which I’d guess are two to three teaspoons), eggs (I used three). I also found some ground almonds which needed to be used up so those went in as well. Then the bananas and finally flour and a dash of milk balanced to have a texture that still easily tears but isn’t liquid.
Finally I put it in a baking tin and into the oven (200°C) until it looked finished. It’s not extremely pretty but it has a firm crust now and is still of moist banana goodness on the inside. Just the way I like it (although I assume that some people can’t stand this).
OMG, banana bread is so good. It’s a really good breakfast cake, and it’s a good thing to make when you don’t want to waste all those mushy, mushy bananas. :)
Lol, I don’t think I can really do the ad-hoc thing, though. I typically go by a recipe here at home. However, when I went to Italy last year, I tried to make it, and got hung up with the cups flour —> grams flour conversion. It’s kinda weird that we use volume here in the States, especially because you can pack extra flour into the same volume, whereas you can’t do the same thing for weight (unless you had some anti-grav/ultra-grav unit under your weighing device). Anyway, the banana bread I made in Italy turned out much too heavy, unfortunately (but it was still tasty).
I can usually cook without a recipe, but I always have to bake with one, otherwise I mess things up.
I guess you just have to try (and possibly fail) a few times before the ‘without-recipe’ style works. But it’s not really bad.
As I said, for this kind of cake I usually don’t have the measurements in mind while making it – just tried to guess/reconstruct them afterwards.
Actually I prefer measurement cups as well because they’re so nicely low-tech. Just all recipes around here use grams, so I tend to think of that as a standard. When I live in the UK I made a handy conversion table for me and my Japanese flatmate which we put up in the kitchen.
One of my favorites as well. I usually end up using Jiffy Baking Mix, which is a locally manufactured product that’s been around forever (my Mom used to cook with it) as a base and adding butter, overripe bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. I improvise and eyeball everything, ingredient-wise, and it always comes out fantastic anyway.
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