CoursebyCourseOnebyOne

August 5, 2010

Week the first

Filed under: Bread,Pancakes,Tartlettes — by tastyace @ 11:30 pm

Well chickadee’s, it has begun, this grand experiment of mine. So far this week I’ve made three things (though unfortunately I’ve only remembered to take a picture of one).

This week I made banana bread, banana pancakes and bacon and cheese tartlettes. An odd combo, I know. The first two were created because we had an smorgasbord (isn’t that a great word!) of ripe bananas at the house.The second was supposed to be my first ‘official’ recipe of the experiment. I had planned on making the tartlettes on Tuesday, but life got in the way, so they were moved to today. However, Tuesday night I got ambitious and decided to try my hand at some banana inspired tastiness. And boy am I glad I did!

The banana pancakes were a bit of a cheat, since I used store bought pancake batter and simply added mashed bananas to it. But it was in the house already and I didn’t feel like making pancakes from scratch for my first experiment. (I did doctor the recipe a little since I added about a teaspoon and a half of light brown sugar to the batter; I have a major sweet tooth!). But regardless they turned out perfectly! It was my first time using the griddle we have, but it was so easy! I was thoroughly stunned. They pancakes were moist, sweet and a total hit with the parental units!

Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Method

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

From http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/

However, after I’d mixed all the other ingredients, I realized I could not find the baking soda! I searched high and low, but twas all for naught. Still rather than being discouraged I winged it and used baking powder. I know, I know, they’re totally different and by all right’s this crazy idea of mine should not have worked… But it did! Apparently baking powder requires an ‘acid’ of some sort to rise and the acidity of the bananas was enough to allow this reaction to occur. So yay me and yay luck! This recipe made the perfect banana bread though, seriously. It was sweet and moist and buttery and banana-y! It rocked! I may try other recipes for fun, but when in doubt, I can definitely say that this will be my go-to banana bread recipe. I would’ve taken a picture of it too, but today when I went to, there was none left! Between my parents, myself and the boyfriend it was devoured in a day and a half! That never happens in my house! Safe to safe, A one point, scary baking, none.

So we’ve had the good portion of this post, and now we come to the bad and the crispy. (Also know as the bacon cheese tartlettes.) To be honest, they weren’t that bad, the flavors just weren’t quiet what I was expecting. I used this recipe:

Bacon and Cheese Tartlets

Ingredients

1 (9.5 ounce) package Pepperidge Farm® Mini Puff Pastry Shells

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 medium green onions, chopped

3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions

Bake, cool and remove the “top” of the shells according to the package directions. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Stir the cheese, mayonnaise, green onions and bacon in a small bowl. Divide the cheese mixture among the shells. Bake for 5 minutes or until hot.

However, I chose to double the recipe, since the Pepperidge Farm® pastries only included five in a box. (This would not have been enough to feed the parental units, myself, the boyfriend and his family. Hence the recipe was doubled.)

In the beginning everything went pretty well. The boyfriend put the pastries on a cookie sheet and they went into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (As per the box instructions)

The cheese was grated, (though unfortunately my mini hand grater proved to be way too fine for what we were attempting) and the green onions were sliced. I then combined all the ingredients just like the recipe required (however I used bacon bits instead of full pieces of bacon). And once the shells had baked for the required 20 minutes, the whole thing went into the oven.

Don’t they look tasty! Mmmmm! (You wouldn’t believe it, but I almost forgot the bacon! I had to put it in at the last second and do one final mixing within each little shell.)

I then waited the required five minutes, and once that was over pulled the tartlettes out. But alas, they weren’t brown yet.

I waited another five minutes, still nothin’.

So I decided to bring the oven up from 350 to 400. I figured that since the shells could have been baked for five more minutes at that temp (the box said between 20 and 25 minutes) that they could handle five more minutes at that temp.

Yeah… Not so much.

Unfortunately when my five minutes were up, some of the tartlettes looked like this.

Luckily, not all of them got crispy, some of the nicer ones turned out like this:

All in all, they tasted okay. The flavors weren’t really what I was expecting. The mayo made the whole thing a lot tarter than I’d expected, and I think it overwhelmed the flavors of the cheese and bacon. The boyfriend and his family gave rave reviews, but I honestly wasn’t that thrilled. I suppose they’d be good for a party, but unless I get specific requests for them, I don’t see myself making these babies anytime soon. They weren’t necessarily bad; they just weren’t my cup of tea. I’ll have to see what my parents think, and then perhaps I’ll make a definite decision.

However, my setbacks have not discouraged me in the least. The success of my banana bread was too great! So far I’m defying my own expectations, hey, maybe this isn’t so tough after all! I hope…

Well I guess that’s all for now, until next week!

Bon appetite!

–A–

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