Monday, 23 May 2011

Banana and Chocolate Chip Bars

Recipe Number Thirty Nine:  Page 249.

I had been looking at this recipe for a few weeks but had been put off as I don't own a 7inch shallow square tin. I searched in a few shops but could not locate a tin which met all these requirements. However, I could buy a deep 7inch square tin. As I wanted to make these bars so much, I decided that I would risk using a deep tin rather than a shallow one; surely it wouldn't make much of a difference!

I measured the oats into my weighing scales then put the scales back to zero so I could add the wholemeal flour to the oats. As I started pouring the flour into the bowl the scales decided that now was a good time to turn off! Thankfully only a small amount of flour had made it into the bowl, so I could roughly estimate how much more I needed to add. I didn't make the same mistake with the Demerara sugar; I weighed it separately! I mixed all of these dry ingredients together and then rubbed in some butter. Mary says to rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. I found it to be quite clumpy and sticky. It felt as though I was creating an ex-foliating face mask; the graininess of the Demerara sugar would work wonders for the skin! I pressed half of this oaty mixture into my apparently unsuitable tin and then located a ripe banana. When I say ripe, I really do mean ripe. It was squashed and black and looked thoroughly disgusting! I said to Neil that I wasn't sure I could bring myself to use it, but I was told it would be fine once peeled. Neil opened the blackened skin to reveal a brown mush, yuck! I could barely slice it, but the other bananas were not ripe so I had to make do. I pressed the remainder of the oaty mixture on top of the squishy banana. I needed a small quantity of chocolate chips to sprinkle over the top. Of course I couldn't resist a handful, just to make sure they were up to scratch! Once a scattering of chocolate chips had completed the banana bars they were ready for the oven.

After the suggested 25 minutes in the oven I checked and thought it could do with a few more minutes. Maybe using a deeper tin means it takes a little longer. After another five minutes my banana bars looked ready. Mary says to leave in the tin until cold, so I did as I was told and left it alone! My tin had a loose bottom so I could push up the base and remove it; this made it very easy to cut into bars. I think it would have been very tricky to remove from the tin otherwise. Now for a taste! These bars are so moreish, you really could eat several in one sitting. The oaty top and bottom are delicious, very crumbly, almost like a flapjack. The banana centre adds a sweet moist middle. It didn't matter at all that my banana was a bit past its best, it tasted perfectly fine! These bars are so easy to make and, as Mary says, they make a great snack – I think both kids and adults alike would love one or maybe two in their lunchboxes. 
So tasty - can't just have one!

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