August 26, 2008

Adding rummy raisins to a chocolate brownie

Debra, 25th August 2008, in “varieties of book mail”

Try mixing your rummy raisins into your favorite chocolate brownie recipe. Yummmm. A bizarre but excellent version mixes in rummy raisins AND a can of mixed nuts. You can use the cheapest of brownie mixes and they wind up tasting like a Chunky bar. (As an American during the 70s and a chocolate lover, I expect you’ll remember those.)

Margy’s Banana Bread Recipe (with leavening trick included)

Debra on 25th August 2008, in “varieties of book mail”

My fave Banana Bread recipe has a great trick for leavening: 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda and 2 tablespoons of Buttermilk*. The CO2 produced by the chemical reaction is terrific. Works really well with heavier flours.

*In the best of worlds, you can find a can of powdered buttermilk at the store. It lasts forever. A tablespoon of powder plus a tablespoon of milk makes a tablespoon of buttermilk. In the next best of worlds, you buy a pint of liquid buttermilk and freeze the leftovers (doesn’t hurt it at all). In the desperate of worlds, you mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in 1 cup of milk, which you stir and let stand for 5 minutes. Or use plain yogurt or sour cream. It’s the acid plus the baking soda, that you’re going for. The milk proteins also help.

Because I, too, am a member of the Lazy Slut Clan, I stick the bananas that are beyond hope in the freezer without peeling. Just IN THERE. When I run out of freezer space, I haul out the bananas and let them thaw in a bowl. The number of loaves of banana bread is determined by the number of bananas (total divided by 3). The pulp is now pre-mashed by the freezing process — I can tear off an end and squeeze it out like toothpaste. As a bonus for laziness, freezing releases banana oils from the skin increasing the banana flavor. I just pour the brown “tea” that collects in the bowl into the batter as well.

Here’s hoping this proves helpful — a small drop of return on the delight you’ve provided me over the years. (Just finished rereading Blue Sword AND Sunshine this week!)

Sincerely,
Debra

Margy’s Banana Bread Recipe
Cream together:
1 stick butter (or substitute 1 cup of applesauce for a lowfat version)
1 cup sugar

Mix in:
3 ripe mashed bananas
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together:
1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Add buttermilk mixture to batter and mix well.

OPTIONAL: 1 cup chopped nuts.

Pour batter into a greased, floured loaf pan.  Bake at 325° for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.