Saturday, December 10, 2011

A recipe for success anybody?

Don't get carried away with the title that was just to grab your attention and actually I don't have one, but don't leave yet, I do have a recipe to share with you. I think this post was more triggered by requests from friends to have the recipe that I used for the Banana Walnut cake that I baked recently for little bunny's kindergarten.

Well, it is that time of the year when working mothers like me in Germany really need to do the juggling act with ultimate precision and care. Your calendar at work is brimming to the limit and your calendar after work is also brimming to the limit. The only light I see at the end of the tunnel is the two weeks break from work where I plan to focus on some deep breathing skills.Yeah it is the month of December and the kindergartens pretend that the month should be dedicated by all mothers to baking cookies, cakes, helping out at all events like Adventscafe, Bastelabend (creative work which can then be sold), Adventsbasar etc etc. All these activities which I completely love to do given normal circumstances. But at work you also see that everybody is running amok making sure that everything is completed before vacation starts and you need to ensure that vertically up, vertically down, horizontally left and right all folks are appeased with their different requests.

Anyway, what has that got to do with a cake recipe you must be wondering. Yeah I need to learn to focus on one thing at a time - practice the breathing techniques I learnt during my preparation for labor classes and everything will just fall into place just like the muscles make way for the baby moving down the birth canal.

Coming back to the cake, so it was late evening Wednesday and the entry on my calendar read 'Bake cake for A's kindergarten for Adventsbazar'. Dinner was in progress and for the last spoons of pasta that needed to go down their throats I used the well known skills that we parents have - 'Kiddies finish your pasta and we can bake a cake together'. You can imagine the shriek of happiness and delight in their lovely eyes. Last bits of pasta disappeared before you even realised. Trust me this Banana walnut cake is one of the easiest you can make - you just need about 25 minutes at hand. Of course you need to have really super ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl which normally gets dunked into your bin. You need some brown sugar, buttermilk and some walnuts. The rest are the usual baking ingredients that go into any cake like eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and butter. Especially when you bake with your children around I strongly advise you not to move away from the scene, it could turn into a long winded affair of cleaning your kitchen tops and floor. So make sure you have everything ready before you start, its easy like I said only the 10 ingredients below and you are ready to rock and roll.

1) 2.5 cups of flour

2) 1 tablespoon of baking powder

3) 0.5 cup of melted butter

4) a pinch of salt

5) 1 cup of white sugar

6) 3/4 cup of brown sugar

7) 2 eggs

8) 4 super ripe bananas mashed or you can mash it directly in your cake mixer

9) half a cup of buttermilk

10) half a cup of chopped walnuts

1. Make sure your oven is preheated (200 degrees C). Ask your little one to grease a round baking pan, this time I used a bundt form to make it look pretty. Kids love greasing the pan and getting their hands into the butter. Keeps them busy for sometime.

2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt. You can ask your helpers at home to mix it for you with the additional instruction to do it very carefully else the kitchen top will be covered in flour :-)

3. In your cake mixer you can cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar - nice and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time - add the bananas - slowly mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk and you get a creamy mixture. Stir in the chopped walnuts. (The trick is to have a extra walnuts placed in front of the kids and ask them to chop them and ask them explicitly not to consume them. A good trick to get them to consume some of the omega 3 rich nuts :-))

4. Ask the kids to taste the end result, you will see that they love it. Ask them to hold on - pour the batter carefully into the prepared form. Scrape out everything and the leftovers the kiddies can happily lick away.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes - 40 minutes - until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yummy banana- walnut cake is ready.

Lessons learnt - My German friends - parents of other kids at Kindergarten are born with extreme baking skills and I am sure many of you know that. So the next day in the kindergarten they could not comprehend why I had used a bundt form for a banana cake. Banana cakes according to the baking rules of the country demand it to be in a square form or a round form!! So make sure to keep this rule in mind especially if you are in this part of the world  :-) Enjoy baking my dear friends and like I said less than 2 weeks to go for that much needed Holiday break.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely!! I'll surely try this. Thanks for the recipe.