Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rail Trail Adventure: Part 1

We recently went on a five day cycling holiday to the Victorian Alps and though I wouldn't call it a relaxing holiday, it was definitely enjoyable and beautiful! The plan was to cycle roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) the second day, 70 kilometres (43 miles) the third day and then just peddle around one of the towns the fourth day. It sounded easy enough on paper...
but after our first cycling day of 40km (16 of those up hill!) there was no way the kids and I were going to be up for 70km the next day. We gave it our best shot but realised it was better if Jeremy enjoyed the second day on his own and we went to a park for a play! Admittedly we didn't give up completely, we did cycle about 7km into town together, but even that little bit left Isla complaining of a sore bottom. 

Even though we were sore and tired we were still able to appreciate how beautiful it is around the area and catch glimpses of kangaroos, a red bellied snake, cows, horses and lots of sheep, pink and grey galahs and black and white cockatoos. 

Another thing we were able to appreciate were the small country town bakeries! We definitely got our fill of baked good on this trip and probably undid any good the cycling did us. The  thing I loved about the bakeries was that they all seemed to put their own spin on traditional baked goods that actually made them way better. We visited the Beechworth Bakery after our first day of cycling for dessert and then again the next morning for breakfast. They had a huge array of baked goods available but Charlie insisted on banana bread of all things. I'm actually really glad he did, not just because it was delicious but because I found out that cinnamon sugar tastes amazing on it! So I thought I would revamp my own banana bread recipe to now include a cinnamon sugar coating. Simple I know, but I would have never thought to add it before trying it at their bakery.

Now this recipe is not trying to recreate the Beechworth Bakery banana bread, just simply add their ingenious idea of cinnamon sugar to my recipe.

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Coating

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 egg
4 tablespoons thickened cream 
1 cup all plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3.5 whole over-ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon coffee sugar (medium size sugar crystals)

Cream togetherthe first 6 ingredients. Slowly add the flours and then the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the blended bananas.

Pour batter into a greased bread loaf pan. Mix coating ingredients together and generous sprinkle over batter (the more the better!) and bake at 170 degrees Celsius fan forced (350 F) for 45-50 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove bread from pan and continue to cool on rack. 

Serve warm with butter. Delicious!

I'll be posting the second part of our holiday adventure soon and another baking recipe revamp from the trip. Would love to read about any simple recipe revamps to traditional baked goods that you've encountered.

Happy Baking!

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