Conwy, North Wales

Bake 7, and a trip to Wales

Conwy, North WalesThe daughter and I have spent the last week at my parents’ house in Wales, where things are a little manic at the moment. But in amongst all the crazy, I did manage to achieve a few things:

  • Galley edits for Room for Loveall those last minute checks for typos and missing words. And the fact that the carpet in the dining room of the Avalon Inn kept changing colour. Hopefully it is now consistent in its hideousness of green and purple paisley.
  • A trip to Conwy with the daughter and her Pops, my dad. It was grey and damp and the daughter was grumpy because she’s still getting over a cold, so we didn’t do much, but I got to look at a castle and see the sea, which is all I ever really need to make it a good day.
  • A trip to the Grosvenor Garden Centre near Chester for baking supplies. I have a piping bag for buttercream icing, at last…
  • Breakfast out with the family. Twice.
  • Drinks with friends. Which, with hindsight the following morning, might have involved just a touch too much wine. But it was fun to catch up. And I did promise them that I would post details on the final item on the list:
  • Bake number seven.

Bake 7: Orangette’s Banana Bread with Ginger and Chocolate Chips

We arrived late on Monday night and, as I unpacked the bags from the car, almost the first thing I spotted was a bowl of bananas turning the perfect shade of brown for banana bread.

I’ve been making banana bread for a lot of years now. It was the absolute favourite food of my housemate at university, so after one or two disastrous attempts, I perfected my standard recipe. It’s still the cake I make around her birthday and, with her first child due next month, it’s the cake I’ll be sending in my care package. I love my banana bread recipe. It’s easy, it tastes great, and I don’t tend to screw it up anymore.

But I’d been reading Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table. And in it, I spotted a recipe for banana bread with chocolate chips and ginger.

I think the recipe on the blog is ever-so-slightly different to the one in the book, but in essence, it’s the same cake, with the same banana-chocolate-gingery goodness. And how could I resist making that?

Since the daughter wasn’t well the next day, and I didn’t fancy taking her out of the house with a blazing temperature, we dispatched Pops to the supermarket for chocolate chips and crystallised ginger. While he was gone, the daughter fell asleep on the sofa – a sure sign of illness since she never stops moving, otherwise. But when she woke up, her first words were “I want to make banana bread!”

Unfortunately, since she was still feeling rubbish, she wanted to be hugged and held throughout the baking procedure, which is why there are no photos today. It’s hard enough to bake with one hand, without getting the camera out too.

I was going to take a photo of the finished product, but it got eaten too quickly by a variety of relatives and visitors, I’m afraid. Which is possibly all the incentive you need to take a trip over to Orangette and give this cake a try.