I spent a lovely afternoon in Vanessa Kimbell’s kitchen this afternoon where we decided to have an impromptu banana bread bake-off to use up some over-ripe bananas she’d got.
I chose to go with my very trusty (and fail safe) Be-Ro recipe, whilst Vanessa chose to follow Mary Berry’s.
There was no difference in the quality of ingredients used. All the eggs were free range from Vanessa’s chickens. The flour, (star anise) sugar, milk, Stork margarine and bananas were identical with exception to the quantities specified in the recipes. They were both made using the ‘all-in-one’ method using Kenwood K-Mix machines. Poured into identical greased & floured tins and baked on the same oven shelf for an identical amount of time.
From the start, my cake looked a different colour as my recipe called for 1lb of (skin on) bananas, whilst Vanessa’s only wanted 2 whole bananas.
The resulting bake was judged by us both but to add an unbiased twist, was also judged by Vanessa’s husband, Alastair, who had no idea which one of us had baked which loaf. The initial reaction from us all was that one loaf seemed to be richer in colour, darker on the crust, had risen more and smell more intensely of banana. On cutting, from the crumb one was obviously lighter in texture.
The hands down winner was this one…
Which recipe was the winner? Why Be-Ro of course! My mum bought each of my sisters & I our first ever recipe book. Mine was the 35th edition, and since then I have added 3 more, updated versions, to my collection. It was my first ever recipe book & the one that I trust to work implicitly every time.
Thanks to Vanessa for such a lovely afternoon of laughs & baking together, and for letting me bring the winning loaf home to keep my hubby ‘sweet’ as I was later home than planned/promised.