The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

When in doubt, bake!

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster week for me. The start of it was going really well. I was having a wonderful time working in a research lab in the Haematology and Genetic Pathology department of a local hospital for my professional placement topic at Uni. It’s my first taste of doing proper scientific research and I’ve been enjoying it immensely. I was enjoying my time so much that I was starting to wonder whether medicine was the right career path for me. For those who have recently joined me on my adventures, I’ve been attempting to get into a postgraduate medical course for the last three years and each year, so far, I’ve failed to get in. Each year, more and more med hopefuls apply for a very limited number of places and, as a result, it becomes more competitive. Unfortunately, this year is no exception. By Wednesday, I was advised that I was unsuccessful in my application to not only my first preference school, but also my second and third. In previous years, I had a feeling that my application wasn’t going to be competitive enough so I wasn’t too disappointed when I was rejected. This year was different. I thought I had a decent chance, so when I received the dreaded ‘email of death’ (that’s what the med hopefuls call the rejection email), I was a little devastated. Self doubt started to creep into my psyche….am I ever going to be good enough? I needed to find something to bake, and the new issue of Delicious magazine came through with the goods – Choc-chip banana blondies. I’ve never baked blondies before, and I love the combo of banana and chocolate so this recipe was perfect to perk me up. So, after eating a couple of blondies, I sat back and reflected on what had happened. Before Wednesday, I was starting to feel conflicted about what I wanted to do next year; research or med? Now it looks like the decision has been made for me. I will do an Honours year, next year and see where that path takes me. If it works well, I may even consider doing a PhD. I’m not giving up on my aspiration to become a medical Doctor though. I’ll have another crack at it, but I think I’ll give myself a bit of break and possibly apply for 2016 entry. In times like these, I love how baking can give you moments of clarity. When in doubt, bake! This recipe makes 16 blondies.

Choc-chip banana blondies
100g unsalted butter, chopped
250g white chocolate, chopped
250g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
11/3 cup (200g) plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup (75g) walnuts, chopped
½ cup (90g) dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180˚C (fan forced). Line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper.

Chuck the butter and 200g white chocolate into a large heat proof bowl, and stir over a saucepan of gently simmering water until melted. Ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. White chocolate is notoriously tricky to melt because it’s not true chocolate (it has a lower melting point), and can have a tendency to split if the heat is too high. So, watch it like a hawk! Once it has all melted, remove from heat.

Melt chocolate and butterStir in sugar, egg, banana and vanilla. Sift over the flour and baking powder, and stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Add sugar, banana, egg and vanillaAdd flour and baking powderFold in walnuts and choc chips

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool the blondies completely in the pan.

Pour batter into pan Bake for 35 minutes or until golden

Melt the rest of the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl, using the same method as mentioned above. Cut the blondies into approximately 5cm squares. Drizzle with the melted chocolate before serving.

Cut into squares Drizzle chocolate over the top

Note: I haven’t made any changes to the original recipe, so if you would like to see the original recipe, it’s featured in the September issue of Delicious magazine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find this recipe online to include a link.

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17 thoughts on “When in doubt, bake!

  1. Sorry to hear about the bad news that came on Wednesday hon. I know you’ve been chasing this dream for a while now, but as you say, a little break to see other opportunities that may present themselves, or to give it another go in a few years, are both great options. I’ve personally found your journey extremely inspiring babe and I am with you every step of the way, no matter what happens down the track xx

  2. All the best to you! Sometimes you don’t get want you want, because there is something bigger and better in store for you.

  3. I am sorry to hear about the setback. Everywhere around me is also cutting back here & there, which is making everyone’s career path very rocky.
    Please don’t be too disappointed. Life is a big adventure. And you never know what is waiting for you tomorrow (^-^)

  4. Sorry to hear the bad news. 😦 What school are you trying to get into? Is it hard to get in the medicine postgraduate degree? Research in labs is always fun. When in doubt, bake and eat and in turn, working hard. 🙂 Good luck.

    • Thank you. I applied to a few different schools in South Australia and Victoria. Yes – it is very difficult to get into post grad med. About 10,000 sit the exam every year, and about 5000 people apply for 1500 med school places – so it’s very competitive. I imagine I’ll be baking a lot over the next few weeks….

  5. Dear Chook
    I’m very sorry to hear the news. Hang in there. I put myself through an undergraduate medical degree by working in a pathology laboratory, if you can get steady work, it’s amazing how much you learn. I hope you keep trying. The PhD/MD (or if MBBS is still offered) is always a good career option.

  6. bakesinslippers on said:

    sorry to hear about your news. but you are right, when in doubt bake! to me it’s therapy, getting in the kitchen and making something out of a pile of ingredients. good luck on your path!

  7. i’m sorry for your disappointment, and it will happen in it’s time. in the meantime, keep heading in the direction you are going and you will reach your destination.

  8. Oh, so sorry to hear about the news – but keep following your dreams and if you are enjoying research so much go for it! (I really enjoyed research too and have decided to go back into science next year when I’m back in Aus 🙂 )

    And this recipe looks fab!!

    • Thank you! You’re coming back to Australia? That’s really cool! I am enjoying the research, and I’m starting to arrange stuff for next year to continue what I’m doing now. It’ll be an interesting year next year!

      • Yes we are coming back at the end of this month, which means less than 3 weeks left. We are very sad… happy to be back with our kids and families, but sad to be leaving France. I’m looking at starting a masters mid-year next year, so that will be exciting – another change of direction! 🙂

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