Even in sunny South Africa, it is scary as to how reliant we have become on a consistent supply of electricity.
For a nation that prides itself on its ability to rough and enjoy it, you’d be amazed at how quickly panic sets in as soon as the power is cut-off. Okay to be fair, even the toughest of people will balk at the thought of facing 35C temperatures without even the smallest of working air-conditioners to take the edge off of it. And of course, it is perfectly acceptable to be brought to tears when your television cuts out due to a power outage right before a Brian Habana intercept try! But no one wants to face an Atterbury intersection, let alone Grayston, to be met by a set of blank traffic lights.
But as long as you can finish drinking all the beers before they get warm, you will make it through!
The LiveInBaker was recently busy with a boredom induced bake, when much to her horror, and with a very disappointing “click”, the kitchen was plunged into darkness. We were in the middle of another Eskom black-out.
But we were prepared for this, and with a swift and rather stylishly performed pull, the cover was removed from our outdoor gas braai, the valve was carefully opened, and two burners quickly lit, combining two of the best three words starting with B (or are there actually 4 words?) – Bake and Braai!
Cherry and Chocolate Banana Loaf – Braai’d
- 125ml butter;
- 200ml brown sugar;
- 3 bananas, mashed;
- 180ml milk;
- 2 extra-large eggs;
- 500ml cake flour;
- 3ml bicarbonate of soda;
- 3ml baking powder;
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 100g dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped up;
- 80g Maraschino cherries, chopped and dabbed dry with paper towel
Preheat your “oven” (or in this case gas braai) to 180C and Spray-and-cook a 10×20 cm loaf tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the mashed banana and mix lightly.
Beat the milk and eggs together, and sift the dry ingredients together.
Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the dry ingredients. Make sure to mix well. Add the vanilla essence and fold in the chocolate and Maraschino cherries.
Turn the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
Normally you would then bake in the oven for around 1 hour.
However thanks to the wonder that is Eskom, the electricity cut out 5 minutes into said hour.
However, the LiveInBaker’s abilities continue to amaze me, and as quick as a flash, she was out of the door and had the gas braai lit, with the 2 outside burners burning on a low gas setting, with the temperature gauge slowly creeping towards 180C. Before this moment I wasn’t even sure that she new where the braai was kept, let alone how to operate it.
Place the tin over the centre burner (so that you are cooking through induction and not direct heat), close the lid, and keep a close eye on your temperature gauge. When the top of the bread is golden brown and a testing skewer comes out clean, your banana bread is ready.
One tip we have learnt, is that you need to get the bread tin off the braai grid, as the grid itself gets hot and left the base of our banana bread a little bit more crispy than we would have liked. Next time we’ll put an inverted baking tin underneath the bread tin to get it away from this heat.