Yesterday, I somehow managed to make banana bread, a sponge cake (that wasn’t very spongy but still tasted great), and fruit leather. Since I did so much baking yesterday, I decided to take a break today from the kitchen, although I was very, very tempted to make cinnamon rolls from scratch using sourdough starter! Maybe next week.
This will be another one of my long posts since it is taking the place of my usual Monday blog post. Read more after the read more 🙂
I went to the trouble on Thursday of getting the juice and pulp out of seven passionfruit. Have you ever seen the inside of a passionfruit? It quite frankly looks disgusting. It smells good though when you are spooning out the pulp and seeds. We have a passionfruit vine that grows along our back fence and we always have more passionfruit than we know what to do with. I did learn that seven passionfruit yields about 1/4 cup of juice. I also browned some butter to use for lunch on Thursday, as well as to use in the banana bread I made yesterday.
I also attempted to produce a recipe for this banana bread. It turned out the way I wanted, but it can definitely be tweaked for individual tastes. The taste of passionfruit is very subtle also.
Why did I use so many different ingredients? Number one: I didn’t have enough eggs to make banana bread and sponge cake if I had to use two eggs for the bread. Number two: I wanted to reduce the sugar by half but not use a sugar substitute. If I don’t feel like replacing ingredients though and need to make banana bread quickly, I usually use this recipe at Simply Recipes.
I kept getting interrupted by my youngest child, Gwennan, while I was making the banana bread. I didn’t mind too much. 🙂
It probably could have baked about 5-10 minutes longer, which I would suggest. The end slices were fine, but closer to the middle of the loaf, the bread was tad bit underbaked.
1/4 cup applesauce = 1 large egg
1/4 cup honey = 1/4 cup sugar
The way I baked this might not be sweet enough for some. In fact, the next time I make this, I would probably use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more sugar.
1/4 cup browned butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
2½ cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2½ tsp baking powder
Brown sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking oil.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir together sugar, honey, egg, and applesauce in a large bowl. Mix the mashed banana, passionfruit juice, milk, butter, and vanilla into the egg mixture.
Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in the large bowl using a spatula. When there are no more streaks of flour, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread the batter in the pan using a spatula until level on top. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar.
Bake for 55-65 minutes until a skewer or knife in the center comes out clean.
It is a good thing I made the lower sugar banana bread, because I did not skimp at all on the sugar in the sponge cake. I was not planning on making sponge cake yesterday, but when I realized that my refrigerator strawberry jam might not keep much longer, I knew I had to use it!
I used A_Boleyn’s sponge cake base recipe! Thank you so much for suggesting it to me! It was my first time making a sponge cake so I’m sure I made a few mistakes along the way that kept it from being the texture I was looking for. I think if I had had more eggs, I would have doubled the recipe so I could have larger layers. As is, I got 3/4 inch layers.
I also used the buttercream frosting recipe from Jane’s Patisserie for part of the filling. The frosting was very sweet but it was exactly the way I thought buttercream should taste!
For the jam, I used a whole pint of my refrigerator strawberry jam. I was very, very happy that I used the whole jar! Even if it did kind of run into the sponge a bit.
Into the oven they go
This cake was a hit with my family. I was not expecting any of my kids to like it, but three of them did! Of course, Josh liked it. And I was happy to use up most of my strawberry jam!
But wait, we aren’t done! Yes, I was kind of being crazy yesterday, which is probably why I didn’t want to touch the kitchen today. lol
A few months ago, my parents bought me a huge flat of mangoes. Not the big green and red ones, but the smaller orange ones that I call Manila mangoes. There was no way I could eat about twenty mangoes myself, so I decided to freeze most of them in different forms. One form was pureed mango. I thought I might use them in a smoothie eventually, but then I read about fruit leather.
My kids LOVE fruit strips, fruit leather, and fruit roll-ups. I’m not really fond of them eating fruit roll-ups so I usually buy them fruit strips from Costco or Sprouts. Fruit strips are pretty expensive though!
My kids also loved most dried fruit, especially dried mango. But the bags of dried mango at Costco are expensive too! So I thought, well, why don’t I see if I can make fruit leather out of the mango puree in the freezer?
Making fruit leather isn’t necessarily hard but it does take a loooong time. I actually had to take my two sheets out of the oven at dinnertime in order to bake pizza for dinner. Then, after dinner (and the oven had cooled back down to 170 degrees), back into the oven the fruit leather went.
I spread the mango puree as thin as I could on parchment-paper lined cookie sheets, about an 1/8 inch thick. Then, I put the cookie sheets into a 175 degree oven.
I think either the cookie sheet with black spots has to go in the trash or somehow that cookie sheet got too hot. Or maybe it was because I had the oven light on? The black spots are not burned fruit and taste fine. I didn’t keep the worst of the black spots though, just because they are a bit unsightly.
By this morning, the fruit leather was dry in appearance and not sticky to the touch. That was how I knew it was done.
What I will do different next time:
Believe it or not, I think I will try to spread the puree thicker! My son Corran liked the thin, crispy edges but that isn’t what I was looking for in fruit leather. The middle area of the cookie sheet was closer to the texture I wanted.
I will probably make these in the oven overnight. Maybe start them 2 or 3 hours before bed and then turn off the oven and leave them in there. Hopefully, 8 hours will be long enough for them to completely dry out with a thicker layer.
My kids loved these! Corran has already requested grape fruit leather. I’m not sure how I will do that, but I am going to try to find out!