When we first moved back from the good ole USofA back in '07 we paid an exorbitant sum of money to have the contents of our very tiny 1 bedroom apartment shipped to the sunny climes of Leyton in East London*. It took forever and we slept on a blow up double for about 2 months but finally the day came that they delivered all our junk. We unpacked the boxes and Mister set about getting the desktop PC up and running. I believe he used a step-down (well, I hope, but am pretty certain) but all I recall was hearing a bang and running into the spare room to see smoke pouring out of the vent in the PC. Not a good start. Now, you would have thought that we would have learned from this first experience (I mean, as a human you're meant to learn from your mistakes right?), but not us. For some reason (although I do believe that this one was the hubster's fault) the Dyson was then plugged in. Yet another pop, no smoke, but dead Dyson. In one fell swoop we had managed to kill 2 of our most expensive appliances. Then we learned. My most prized posession was the black Kitchenaid my mother-in-law kindly bought me and there was no way in hell I was going to risk my Kitchenaid.
So poor Kitchenaid (I should really give it a name, perhaps Berta) sat lonely in its box for nearly 5yrs. Then last week I was having a chat with a colleague who was talking about the Kitchenaid she had bought her husband. I was supremely jealous. She encouraged me to look into getting an adapter she had seen on Amazon and to take the plunge and bring Berta (yes, I like Berta) out of her box. By the middle of the week I was asking my Daddy-o for specific advice on voltage and wattage and step downs (oh my!). Yes, this is where I reveal that my father is a sparky (well, he can't fix your telly but he can do a blinding plan of your electrical schematics for an off-shore living platform....). I'm not sure why I hadn't properly discussed it with him before but I finally asked him about the Kitchenaid/converter situation. After many texts, most of which I really didn't understand, he advised that Berta should survive with my step-down.
Now, following my Gluten Free Banana Bread post I had promised another colleague, a gluten intolerant (that doesn't sound right does it? makes it sound like she's personally "anti-gluten" not that she has a genuine medical issue), that I would bake my Banana Bread and bring it into the next meeting. This morning we had a meeting...
Ok, I know this isn't a "new" recipe but I amended it (read: improved!) and added a new component. Firstly, I pulled Berta out of her box and with great trepidation plugged the step-down in, then plugged Berta into the step-down. I switched on the step-down. Holding my breath I moved the lever to "stir". Berta worked. No smoke. No bang. Just purring motor.
I kissed my Kitchenaid.
I was back in business and in a great mood. I set about making the recipe as previously posted but with these tweaks:
Firstly I was making normal muffins (not mini muffins) - the mix makes around 12 large muffins or 18 smaller muffins. I also used spotty muffin cases.
Secondly, tweaks to the basic recipe:
90g caster sugar (instead of 110g)
4 large ripe bananas (instead of 3)
1 tsp of baking soda (in addition and added at the same time as the other dry ingredients)
Thirdly, streusel topping (gluten free!):
75g soft brown sugar
70g granulated sugar
85g rice flour
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
60g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
To make the streusel topping, mix the sugars, flour and nutmeg together. Add the butter cubes and rub the mix together using your hands until it becomes the consistency of bread crumbs.
Spoon the topping (about a tsp per muffin) onto the muffins and press gently onto the surface of the muffins (the streusel recipe makes quite a lot so I had a fair amount left over). Then pop the trays into the oven and bake for around 35mins (just keep an eye on them). Cool on a wire rack.
I took the muffins into work and they went down very well with my colleagues (in fact several people had more than one and all 18 were gone). My favourite response was "that's good sh*t". Job done.
But. What sort of mother (or wife) would I be if I baked something I know my daughter loves and then didn't let her have anything?? And since I had my dear Berta back in my life and was very much enjoying using her...I of course baked another batch. Again, slight differences catering for the particular audience:
Firstly, I made a loaf since hubster prefers it like this (so he can spread butter all over it and then fry it...) so you will need to lightly butter the loaf tin.
Secondly, although I used the same tweaks to the basic recipe above I also replaced the 50g cornflour with 50g ground oats (I blitzed them in a little blender).
So basically mix the recipe as usual and pour into a loaf tin (preferably bigger than mine - I was a little lazy and should have either split the mix between 2 loaf tins or poured it into my larger glass loaf dish but meh, not the end of the world).
Spoon on the streusel topping (like I said, I had a lot left over, and still had some left over after topping the loaf and have put it into the freezer to see how well it freezes) and gently press into the batter.
Bake for about an hour.
Leave in the tin to cool until the tin is cool enough to handle, slide a knife around the edge then ease the loaf out of the pan. Put the loaf on a wire rack to cool.
Mange mange mange!!
I love how I said to the hubby I was just going upstairs to write a short blog post. Yep, real short.
*Incidently I stuck it out for 6 months in a flat that's main architectural features were a hole in the ceiling in the bathroom and 2 beautiful patches of mould in the spare bedroom and the living room. Following a stabbing on the high street I had had enough and begged hubster to move back to my roots in Highgate.