The Magic of Three

Today’s post is about 3. The number 3, my favorite single digit number, right after 7, 2, 9 and of course, 4 and 5. Remember there were three little piggies building houses that the bad wolf tried to tear down (of course, this was in the age when neither wolves nor vampires were lust-inducing handsome creatures). Good old Shakespeare had the same number cackling “Fire burn and cauldron bubble” which in turn, made Terry P. (bless his boots!) gave us Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. And finally, in my third example, JKR chose three brothers and their hallows in keeping with so many other tales and myths. You get the picture, right? Everyone picks 3. In fact, if 3 were in school (or in a competitive game show), it would get picked first when people chose their teams. So all in all, a good number for me to blog about.

Banana Cake with Demerra Sugar and Chocolate Sprinkles
Banana Cake with Demerara Sugar and Chocolate Sprinkles

So the first topic of this post is “three wishes”, for which I need to tell you a little story. Once upon a time (last week), in a land far far away (in Chennai, my least favorite city in the whole world), I landed early in the morning, for a pre-lunch meeting. In a rare burst of romance, that cloudy Friday morning, I mused that I had never been to the famous city beach. Lo and behold, several hours later (after a delayed meeting, missing my flight back and crossing the city a couple of times) – I found myself at the beach, stuffing on mollig bhajjis (chilli poppers) and grilled corn. A long trudge back to the airport, and several hours spent in traffic, only resulted in a delayed flight. AND as icing on the cake, they ran out of my favorite sweet at the airport counter of Krishna sweets (if you have not tasted KS’s Mysore Pak, imagine this milky kind of cake in which you can taste every single of the trillion calories that every bite contains). I begged and pleaded the store counter guys to check again, for even one stray piece and YES, my second wish got granted in the form of a last 400 gm. By then I had thoroughly mixed up the nature of the wishes granted by the genie in the magic lamp (who did Disney musicals in his spare time) and the terrible Monkey’s Paw (spine chilling –decidedly-not Disney). The third wish though was given by the Good Genie. The nice flight check-in personnel, giving in to my abject begging and pleading (it is an art form!), put me on an earlier flight out. And thus it came to pass, that just as the clock struck midnight, I reached home, deliriously exhausted, but just in time for Wedding Anniversary #2.

You see, the husband has two siblings. And quite romantically or poetically, we celebrate our wedding anniversaries in a row. His elder brother went first (you know Papa Bear!) and he and his wife have theirs on the third day. We came second and our day is in the middle. And younger sister and brother-in- law (BIL makes the best pizza and ramen north of the tropics) married third and have their anniversary first. So it all adds up – why I put on so much weight in December. And why the husband is perpetually confused as to when our wedding anniversary is. Of course, I wanted to bake this year. And of course, my ‘airport tourism’ gave me no such opportunity. Instead, Mama Bear got us a gorgeous strawberry cake and the three couples blew out the candles together (with younger SIL and BIL, overseas, using technology and a bit of imagination).

Which brings me to the third topic (I know, I know, long post!) and the three bananas and the cake I did want to bake. I got around to it today, as the three bananas that I was saving specially for the cake, were going beyond over-ripe. And oh my Gawd! I suggest you run out right now and get yourself the ingredients to make this super-easy-and-even-more-delicious cake! You don’t need three or even one occasion to celebrate – in fact, you don’t have a moment to waste, not if you want to taste complete “awesomeness”.
Thanks again to David L. for a super-recipe. I made some minor modifications to his recipe (one for taste/health, a couple for mood, one because of laziness, and a couple due to ingredients and bakeware at hand). My version is  below – do check the original out.

Preheat oven to 180 c and butter and line a 9 inch pan. I used a round spring-form, but I do believe a square one or loaf tin will work better for an even rise. Sieve together 1 ½ cups (210g) of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp salt. Add in ¾ cup (150g) sugar. I used demerara. You can use plain granulated white or brown sugar. Mash 2 over-ripe bananas and break in 2 eggs (brought to room temperature), 2 tbsp (30g) of melted butter, ½ cup yogurt/curd, and ½ tsp vanilla. Mix wet into dry and stir gently. Mix in 1/3 cup (60g) of chocolate chips and stir till just combined. Pour into the cake tin.

Then proceed to go wild. You can bake as-is or top with anything that catches your fancy. I used a combination of demerara and chocolate sprinkles which needed using up. I doubt if the sprinkles do more than look pretty, but that sugar topping!! The resultant crusty-crumb or crumby-crust is to die for! Bake for 40 minutes.

I had a quarter of this cake for lunch (some with strawberry jam!). In keeping with the blog theme, three reasons why I love this cake
1.  Very little washing up. If you have a weighing scale, it requires only 2 bowls, and 1 (½ tsp) spoon and one tiny bowl used for melting the butter. And 1 fork (aka banana masher) and the spatula. It is a party doing the dishes.
2.  Did you notice only 2 tbsp of butter? Did you?! Did you?!
3.  I still have one too-ripe-to-eat banana remaining. Banana granola bars may be in order.

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