Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Baking challenge #12: Mary Berry's banana and chocolate chip bars

Mary Berry's banana & chocolate chip bars, as baked by EJ
I wanted to find a good recipe for some cereal bars in the hopes that a ready supply of home made flapjacks or granola bars will help me to resist the temptation of Waitrose (and the expensive snacks within). So when I saw Mary Berry's recipe for banana and chocolate chip bars it seemed like the perfect solution for my mid-morning peckishness.

Mary Berry describes this recipe as 'really healthy', when in fact it does contain a fair amount of sugar, butter and chocolate - but if you compare this to the doughnut recipe on the opposite page, I guess these bars do look pretty healthy. Also they contain oats, which we all know are pretty damned nutritious.

These oaty bars have a layer of baked banana in the middle which cooks down into a kind of delicious banana jam, sandwiched between two laters of oaty goodness. In fact the overall flavour combination is divine and not too sweet- a perfect kind of mid-morning-with-a-cup-of-tea flavour.

The only down side is that the oats are really crumbly- I had one at work which crumbled all over my desk (it practically exploded over my keyboard), so definitely not the most practical snack. In fact, due to my absolute hatred of messy food I have given all of the banana oat bars to Owen (who really doesn't mind the crazy crumbliness) and resigned myself to inadvertently spending a small fortune on snacks again this week.

It's difficult without a photo in the book to know if my bars structurally failed due to a mistake, or if they're actually meant to be super crumbly. But I'll try again, in the hopes that more butter or the substitution of golden syrup in the place of sugar may improve the texture. If all else fails, this recipe really contains the (not so) solid foundations of a kind of tropical crumble, in fact- if such a thing as coconut custard exists, I'd say it would go pretty well with these crumble bars.

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