While bribery is very much to be frowned on, I have found that working in financial services, cake can go a long way. Yes, teams powered by sugar are more productive and having checked on the Financial Conduct Authorities website, I look like being a ‘cake pusher’ hasn't been regulated out of existence.
That said, I personally hate fiddly recipes and don’t like sweet things but my suggestion of making a nice lasagne was turned down so I headed into the kitchen, committed to keeping my cool. I chose to make a Banana Ginger loaf as not only did it look good and I had most of the ingredients but the recipe looked simple as it only had 4 steps. It also came from a book that my Nan gave me and having worked on the radars on the Orkney isles in the war, I suspect she was rather a low-faff cook too.
Excited by the simplicity, I decided to make double the batter so I could spread the love (i.e. sugary bribery) far and wide!
Banana Ginger Loaf [makes one large loaf]
300g plain flour
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed allspice
2 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
200g soft butter
200g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
6 medium well ripened bananas (mashed)
2tbsp golden syrup
4 tbsp chopped crystalised ginger
You start by sifting the flour, ginger, mixed allspice, baking powder and salt into a bowl. This provides your upper arms with an excellent work out and the ability to cover all surfaces in your kitchen with a light dusting of ‘snow’.
Then add butter, brown sugar and eggs to the ingredients and beat thoroughly until well blended. Sadly, this is when it started to go off track as I soon realise that a) there was a heck of a lot of batter in the bowl b) my bowl is a lot smaller than I remembered. After all these years, I can admit that size does apparently matter.
Grabbing a cider (for inspiration) and my biggest pot, I began the ‘exciting’ task of slopping one gloopy mess into another dish. My ladylike credentials buggered off at this point and I confess the loaf was not only made with love but certain levels of profanity.
Covered in flour and cross, I then added the bananas, milk and syrup to the mixture before adding the finely chopped ginger. Pouring the mixture on myself and my kitchen I wrestled it into two greased loaf tins (10 x 28 cm) and muffin tin sheet. There is a lot of mixture which really does keep on giving.
Put into oven at 160 C or 325 F for about 45 to 60 minutes – turning the temperature lower if the top gets too brown. Remove from the oven and turn out once it has cooked slightly. Avoid burning yourself – as I did – and present proudly to colleagues as ‘just a little something’ that I whisked up over the weekend in one of my minor domestic goddess moments.
Would I recommend that other low-faff bakers try it? Definitely, if I hadn’t had size issues, it probably would have been far easier and for a relatively simple recipe it delivered a very moreish spicy banana ginger punch that even I liked
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