Banana and Chocolate Chip Bars from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

I’m now well under way with baking from this month’s Cooking The Books Challenge.  This morning was time to get started on the second recipe, which sounded good in theory being the school holidays.  But in practice probably not a good idea to bake when you’re in a hurry, you need to be somewhere else and you need to be on hand somewhere to be a taxi service to your children.  We had been up to Edinburgh the day before on a trip and I had not slept well on Sunday and last night, probably managed 4 hours sleep.  Coupled with an uncomfortable train ride in a “quiet” carriage full of mobiles ringing, iPads playing films out loud and a screaming baby on the way to Edinburgh yesterday I was ready for my bed.  But sleep just wouldn’t come.  Maybe tonight?  Here’s hoping!

Anyway, enough of me prattling on.  Back to the job in hand.  Baking.  I shouldn’t be baking after letting my diet slip over the past few weeks and yesterday I ate loads of rubbish.  At least my family like banana and chocolate so these flapjack type bars should go down a treat.  It was time to bake the Banana and Chocolate Chip Bars from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.  Mary says in the introduction that these are “a really healthy snack.  The banana in the middle could be replaced by ready to eat dried apricots,”  Both my daughter and I like dried apricots so that’s a great variation to try in the future.

As I began to get the ingredients out to start baking, my son came downstairs and asked what I was making.  I told him what they were and he said “Eww, gross!”  Funny how the recipe was in the Baking For Children chapter.  This obviously doesn’t extend to grumpy teens who only eat breakfast when nagged to!


So first things first, I got a square cake tin greased. Mary says to use a shallow 7″ size one, my smallest one was 8″ square and deep.  Oh dear.  After that I mixed together self raising flour, porridge oats and brown sugar.

Some butter was then added into the bowl and rubbed into the porridge oats mixture to make it turn out a bit like breadcrumbs.

Some butter was then added into the bowl and rubbed into the porridge oats mixture to make it turn out a bit like breadcrumbs.

This is what the mixture looked like when the butter had been rubbed in.

Now this is where I was distracted and didn’t read the recipe properly.  This was my fault as the recipe was a simple one and I should have read it carefully.  The porridge mixture was meant to go in the tin like a sandwich with the sliced banana in between.  I made a complete mistake and put all the mixture in at once like you do with a flapjack!

The porridge mixture in the tin before adding the banana topping.


The sliced banana and chocolate chips sprinkled on the top in the wrong way!

The bars were baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.  I was worried about the banana burning but that wasn’t a problem.  After the right time out came the bars and I let them cool down.

The chocolate was meant to be drizzled on but it ended up being thrown on instead!
The bars were cut up once cooled down and turned out of the tin. 

I really enjoyed baking these bars and they would have looked a lot more attractive if I’d read the recipe properly.  I could have got away with the rustic look with the extra chocolate on but because I was rushing (why do I always have to bake when I’m short of time?) I ended up with a very messy finish. I’m sure Mary Berry would have said “Could do better,” if she had seen them.

The appearance didn’t put me off, I ate one with a cup of tea in the afternoon and to be honest it tasted much better being kept in the fridge.  Even my son who had turned his nose up at them enjoyed the bars and they had all disappeared by Wednesday!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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