Baking in trays

When baking in a tray, line the tin with baking paper making sure that at least one piece runs the length of the tin and is wide enough that it overlaps two of the edges. That way you can grab either side and lift the entire slice or cake out easily without breaking it. Try to cool completely before you do this; overnight or for at least an hour or so. The slice or cake will harden as it cools, reducing the risk of it breaking.

Freezing bananas:

Extremely ripe bananas are the best to use in baking. Bananas on the verge of collapse. The ripening process intensifies the flavour and improves the texture so that they mash easily to achieve a smooth consistency. More often than not, bananas will ripen before you’re ready to use them, or alternatively, you’ll want to whip something up quickly and all you can find are rock-hard green bananas from the supermarket. Freezing black, unwanted bananas is the perfect solution. All you have to do is take them out of the freezer an hour or two before you want to use them, place them in a bowl and wait for them to thaw. (You can even put them in the microwave on the defrost mode for a couple of minutes – though make sure you keep an eye on them so they don’t start to cook.) They won’t look pretty, in fact they’ll look downright unappealing, but don’t worry; the more unattractive, the tastier the result. Remove the skins and mash, making sure to include all the syrup which will have accumulated as they thawed. This method is obviously only suitable where banana is to be mashed and incorporated into the batter itself. For all other instances, use fresh bananas that are only ripe to the point where you would enjoy eating them uncooked or whole.



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