Monday, August 31, 2009

Improvements and Banana Bread

I made banana bread in a microwave!! I'm really pleased it came out as well as it did. It's a cheater recipe, because I used a cake mix as a base, but whatever. I don't have any flour or sugar to make it from scratch. Besides, more importantly, I can bake in a microwave!! I think I've mentioned that the dormitories I'm in don't have ovens (if I haven't, there ya go). This greatly disappointed me, as I had just gotten really interested in making baked goods--cookies, cakes, dessert bars, etc. I was determined to have my baked goods, so I did a quick Google, and lo and behold, you can bake in a microwave!

I've read many cooking articles despairing about the use of the microwave in cooking. I say screw that. When a microwave's all you got, you make do. Besides, it's not like I'm about to start microwave-cooking everything. Just things that can't be made on a stove. Like banana bread.

I currently have two banana bread recipes in my large virtual recipe library. I picked the simpler of the two, the Quick & Easy Banana Bread featured on SavvyMiss, courtesy of Myvesta’s, and modified it slightly to suit my needs (basically, the dilemma that I had no vanilla extract, no nuts, and most of all no oven).

Cheater Microwave Banana Bread

3 large ripe bananas
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs

1 ramekin (or many, if you don't want to "bake" these one at a time)
vegetable oil for greasing the ramekin
microwave-safe mug filled with water

~In a large mixing bowl, mash up the bananas somehow. I used the tip of a whisk because I had no potato masher available.
~Add the cake mix and eggs and mix well.
~Grease the inside of your ramekin(s) with vegetable oil. This will help your banana bread come out easily.
~Fill the ramekin about halfway to the top, and stick it in the microwave. Put the mug of water alongside it; the water will evaporate in the microwave and keep the banana bread from getting too dry as it rises.
~Set the microwave timer on about 4 minutes--you may need to add more or less time depending on how powerful your microwave is. When the loaf is done cooking, it should have risen a centimeter or two above the edge of the ramekin. Use your first "loaf" to get the time right. Test your banana bread by sticking a toothpick or skewer into the center of the loaf and seeing if it comes out clean. If your loaf is too dry, set the next batch for less time, and if it's still partially raw when you test it add another minute.
~When your banana bread is done, turn the ramekin upside down over a plate and slide a butter knife or fork against the edge of the bread to loosen it. If you greased the ramekin enough, it should pop out pretty easily.

Yields about 4 ramekin-loaves...well, I don't know for how many people exactly, because the first two were torn apart by Mi and E and our dorm neighbors.

I made chicken teriyaki for dinner tonight like E asked yesterday. This time I made a few changes to the recipe, namely adding 2 tbsp of honey and a handful of sliced ginger. Made it a lot better.

Before I go...
Fire Alarm Count: 14.
Apparently someone was burning incense, which is not allowed in dorms for the explicit reason that it sets off fire alarms.

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