Banana Bread is quite versatile and, really, requires no more than a scale, bowl, whisk, and spatula - items already existing in the average household or items that could be easily acquired within a reasonable timeframe. The endless variations of this classic and, more importantly, its ability to be constructed manually in its entirety was its most attractive aspect.
One stick of cultured butter, melted, would be used to substitute the oil (as per usual), crusty brown sugar was salvaged using a damp paper towel and the insulative capabilities of a microwave, and cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice was omitted, as I simply was not in the mood to purchase the tin for a one-time use. The same would apply to the specks of raw sugar I customarily dusted across the surface.
The results were fabulous, even if I do say so myself. A thin layer of plain batter served as the foundation. Chocolatey goodness was found in the centre, followed by moist bits of roughly mashed banana above it, then lastly a crunchy, satisfying surface. Cinnamon and nutmeg would have been welcome accents, though the slices were nonetheless scrumptious!
Next up were sugar cookies. Reaching for my SK favourite, I folded in expired matcha without hesitation. The grassiness was way subdued than before, naturally, as the container had expired. The same water bottle trick was used in place of a rolling pin, though this attempt saw insufficient chill time and an utter lack of cookie cutters.
The main project of the day was creating a layered birthday cake capable of being presented alongside La Patisserie's. Mind you, this task was easier said than done with the limited array of tools on hand.
I had ordered a hand mixer a few days in advance of this planned project, only to have Amazon delay its arrival by a pivotal 24 hours. Despite being the most budget-friendly buy from their assortment, I was impressed with its performance. Aeration of the eggs was made effortless, allowing the batter to achieve adequate height. Consistency of the cake was a tad denser than preferred, but not nearly as dense as those using melted butter. The inclusion of G7 was evident in the toasty, aromatic emissions of coffee.
An ancient Reddit thread on this possibility had remained unanswered. I opted to test it out, for my belief was that the mixture would not curdle if the difference in temperatures was minor. It quickly dawned on me that the I had no thermometer for validating the sugar syrup temperature - approximating it would be!
Without an offset or bench scraper, I turned to Google for assistance. A mini cutting board would later be used to smooth the edges of the cake and obtain the "naked cake" appearance.
Two attempts at dalgona for topping ended in failure. The same would apply to a shiny, amber disc of burnt caramel that never set.