So the day started badly when Fred decided to “do one” while we were on our walk, and ended up in the forbidden ponds. When he finally responded to my best “come here you bad dog” voice, he reappeared with a duck, which I had to prise from his jaws (fortunately it flew away: dead would also have been OK – I was dreading the “limping around clearly fatally injured and needing to be dealt with” option – even if it might have meant duck for tea.). To cap it all, I incurred the restrained and very British wrath (no swearing, ‘please do try to keep your dog out of ‘our woods’...)of the posh lady who lives in the beautiful house above the ponds. This is, of course, all my fault, for foolishly thinking that it would be OK to have a dog that has been bred to work, and keep it as a pet, but let’s leave the recriminations behind. Besides, I have bowed to the inevitable and dug out the number of a dog training school that I have been meaning to call for ages...
I was feeling slightly frazzled by the time I got back – bearing in mind that this was all before 9 a.m. – so it was a good job I had some Bam Bread ready and waiting for me.
This is a super delicious, and definitely healthy, loaf cake, my latest Baked in America triumph. Honestly, they’re not paying me to write this, but the book is just full of great things. (Actually, guys, if you read this, it’s my birthday next week – hint, hint...)
This particular confection ticks all my boxes: it is, as ever, easy to make, it is full of healthy things – mashed banana, apricot, nuts, All Bran – yes All Bran – I never baked with All Bran before, but I wonder why not. It got kind of crunched up so you wouldn’t know it was All Bran unless you’d actually baked the cake and added it to the mixture, and it adds a kind of nuttiness to it. I should hold up my hands and say that I quite like All Bran anyway, but if you don’t it shouldn’t put you off making the cake. Finally, it’s not too sweet. I was feeling that with some of the other cakes I have made from this book that there was perhaps a smidge too much sugar – not that it stopped me, you understand, but the feeling was there. However, this gets loads of sweetness from the apricots, and it’s lovely.
In what must be a first, I actually had ALL the necessary ingredients – no substitution required, and unlike the lemon drizzle loaf, and the oatmeal in a slice, it didn’t sink. It took quite a bit longer to bake than the specified 50-60 mins, so I ended up covering it with foil to stop it burning, but other than that it was great.
So, children dispatched with responsible teenager to the park for the morning while I work, coffee on, cake in hand – and relax. But only for a short while – school shoe shopping this afternoon. Better make sure there’s some left for the recovery from that little expedition too.