Treats on the road

I absolutely love to bake. I am no kitchen goddess, but I like to try new recipes and most of the times they work out well. If it was up to me, I’d bake at least once a week and when I’m home I keep bugging my parents to try my latest discoveries. When you are living out of your backpack, things start to get a bit tricky though.

Every time I’m in the supermarket I am tempted to take the complementary magazines full of recipes and tips. I tear off things I’d like to try only to find out that the ingredients are things I don’t often use or that I need an oven to make it. Let’s face it, not many hostels are daring enough to offer their guests an oven these days. Besides that, I don’t want to carry around a suitcase full of exotic ingredients and baking materials.

Every now and then it’s just nice to treat yourself and your new friends to something you made yourself. There are some easy recipes that aren’t too complicated and can be adjusted to suit the circumstances.

Banana cake
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup Sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe, only some sort of tray and of couse an oven. Preheat the oven to 175°C. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last and mix. Pour mixture into the tray/baking dish you found. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack.

If you don’t have the luxury of an oven, there are some small treats you can make on the stove.

Peanut-chocolate crunchies
Ok, this is the classicit recipe. You need a block of milk chocolate, peanut butter and rice crispies. Besides that you need a tray or plates and baking paper.

First of all, find two pans of which one will fit into the other. Fill the bigger one with water and boil that. Put the smaller pan on top of the water and slowly melt the chocolate. Stir in peanut butter to taste. When all is liquid, stir in rice crispies and take off the stove. Put a spoonful of the mixture on a tray with baking paper and continue until you’re out of mixture. Cool it in the fridge.

For variations, you can add crushed peanut pieces, use different kind of chocolates, add sprinkles on top or use instant noodles (uncooked) instead of rice crispies to make spiders.

Rocky Road
Another great one for when you don’t have an oven. You’ll need a bag of marshmallows, about 500g milk chocolate, 30g butter and 250g sweetened condensed milk.

For the filling you have many options, like: unsalted peanuts, jelly beans, nuts, lollies, raspberries (great with white chocolate), coco pops/rice crispies, raisins or crumbled cookie. For the classic options take milk chocolate, peanuts and jelly beans. I once made a great one with white chocolate, coco pops, and frozen raspberries.

You’ll also need a baking tray, lined with baking paper.

Again you need to find two pans of which one will fit into the other. Fill the bigger one with water and boil that. Put the smaller pan on top of the water and slowly melt the chocolate and butter. Then, mix in the condensed milk. Mix your chosen filling with the marshmallows and pour the chocolate mix over the filling. Stir to mix it and pour it onto the baking tray. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

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