Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf

A few weeks (if not months ago), I was completely inspired by an instagram post that I saw of Finla Noronha (another Belgian based food blogger with the blog “My Kitchen Treasures” which isn’t active in the blogasphere anymore – but I do recommend following her on instagram for drool-worthy food images)…

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I found the recipe via google using *self raising* in my search as I have run out of normal cake flour (seriously???) on a recipe website called Naïve Cook Cooks => recipe here , however I omitted the orange butter!

It was super easy to make but my only negative comment is that by day 3 it was a bit like a stale scone… but nothing that 10 seconds in the microwave couldn’t fix 🙂

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Orange Chocolate Chip loaf

3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup yoghurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon orange rind
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips

  • Mix together milk, yoghurt, sugar, eggs, orange juice & zest
  • Add flour & mix well
  • fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour into a greased loaf tin
  • Bake for 40-45min at 190C

 

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Easy Fruit Loaf

I have never been a huge Christmas cake or pudding fan, until recently. Or should I rather say, until I tasted the Christmas pudding Anne (my friend, Sarah’s mum) made! And now I am a convert!

Every year I think I will finally try my hand at making my own … or even my own fruit mince pies… but I never get around to doing it in time for Christmas.

But when I saw this Easy Fruit Loaf recipe in the Snowflake Book of Baking – I thought I could manage this and it didn’t have to be related to the festive season 🙂

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It really is easy to make… and delicious. I would suggest checking it after an hour as I left mine in a little bit too long, making the outside a bit crunchy while the inside still remained deliciously moist and chewy with all that fruit (probably also due to the large amount of butter in it… hee hee). This is a definite make again (even HIM approved)

Easy Fruit Loaf

200g Sugar
250ml milk
250g butter
310g mixed fruit cake mix
1 egg, beaten
350g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Place sugar, milk, butter & fruit mix in a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2-3minutes
  • Remove from heat and leave to cool
  • Add beaten egg to mixture
  • Sift in dry ingredients
  • Mix well
  • Pour into greased loaf tin
  • Bake at 160C for 60-70min

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Herby Scone Bread

We hosted some friends for a little brunch in our new place at the beginning of January… when our apartment was still not 100% fully renovated (missing doors on kitchen cabinets & appliances; an empty living area as the couch will only be delivered tomorrow; a toilet in one bathroom and no basin, a basin in one bathroom with no toilet; half painted door frames… etc etc…)

But the oven works …  as seen with the banana yoghurt loaf that I baked => so I decided to also try my hand at this herby scone bread recipe from the *Recipes from a Royal Kitchen* – a cookbook gift from my mommabear long time ago!

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The secret with any scone mixture is not to work it too much, otherwise you don’t get a good rise. And normally I make mini individual scones, so I was eager to try leaving it as “one whole bread”

The Result? It had a crumbly scone texture but very tasty … and would be taken to the next level with the addition of some strong cheese in the mixture! Would I make it again. Most Probably.

Herby Scone Bread

2 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon caster sugar
4 teaspoons dried herbs (or 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs)
50g butter (melted)
1/2 cup milk
1 beaten egg with 1 Tablespoon milk for glazing

  • Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb & salt
  • Add caster sugar, herbs & melted butter
  • Add milk & mix lightly to form a soft, sticky dough
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
  • press into a round shape approx. 3cm thick
  • Place on a greased baking tray and brush with egg/milk mixture
  • Mark into 8 wedges using a knife to cut lightly into the dough
  • Bake at 180C for 20min

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Banana Yoghurt Loaf

2016 was a crazy busy year (you can read our overview here) and 2017 has started off with a whole lot of *new-ness*… New apartment, newly fitted kitchen (still waiting for the scratched counter top to be replaced and the subway tiles to go up between the counters as a backsplash) and a new car!!

But obviously the most important in terms of this blog is the new kitchen… and a new oven (brand spanking new!!) which obviously needed to be tested. So we baked a Banana Yoghurt Loaf out of the *Recipes from the Royal Kitchen* cookbook by Heilie Pienaar (South African food stylist).

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Easy to make and probably ranks up there with the best of the banana bread loaves that I have ever made! And still moist and delicious on day 3 if it lasts that long!

Would I make it again? YES

Banana Yoghurt Loaf

2.5 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g butter (room temperature)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain yoghurt
3 large bananas, peeled & mashed

  • Sift flour, baking powder & salt
  • Rub in butter with fingertips to make a fine crumb
  • Beat eggs & sugar together
  • Add yoghurt to wet mixture
  • Add wet mixture to dry ingredients
  • Fold in mashed bananas until combined
  • Bake in a grease-proof lined loaf tin for 50min at 180C

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Corn Bread

I absolutely love weekends… who doesn’t??

And I have found that Monkey (who turns 1 years old on Wednesday) is starting to engage in more and more solo play… which gives me back my hands and a little bit more time to get back into the kitchen to cook up a few things!

This past weekend, I managed to put together a roasted pumpkin soup, a big pot of chilli con carne AND this lovely corn bread (aka *Mealie Bread* as my South African friends would call it)

I had a tin of KOO cream-style sweetcorn in my store cupboard and was eager to find another use for it (rather then my bog-standard sweetcorn fritters go to recipe) and lo-and-behold… I found this recipe on the YOU magazine website

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I adapted it by adding a cup of grated cheddar cheese and a full teaspoon of paprika… and next time, I think a few chopped chillies would also give it an extra zing! VERY tasty and still good on day 2 (when there was very little left anyway :))

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Corn Bread

1 tin cream-style sweetcorn
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
60ml warm milk
30g butter, melted (and another 30g for brushing after baking)
350g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup grated cheese

  • Mix all wet ingredient together in a large bowl
  • Fold in flour, cheese & paprika to form a wet dough
  • Place into a greased loaf tin
  • Bake for 45min at 170C
  • Brush top of bread with 30g melted butter to keep it soft & moist

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Buttermilk Banana Loaf

I have to apologize for the radio silence over the last few weeks… and give a little explanation.

The month of March saw some very disturbing occurrences in Brussels, Belgium (the city where we live)… with bombs exploding at Zaventem (Brussels) Airport as well as one of the Metro stations near the EU Buildings (Maalbeek). This left most inhabitants a bit shell shocked. We all put on our best & bravest face and tried to continue our day to day activities as much as possible, so as not to let the terrorists win with their *fear* tactics … but deep down inside, we were all hurting. For the senseless loss of life, the realization that this was happening in our own city and that no place on earth was ever truly safe… even if the army and police presence was everywhere we turned since the Paris attacks in November 2015.

Normally, I would turn to my kitchen for a bit of therapy… cooking or baking has always calmed me down and of course… eating – but instead, I spent more time with HIM & Little Miss… we headed an hour outside of the city for a little staycation around the Easter weekend. Plus, both Little Miss and I spent a good portion of the month sick (her with Gastro… poor thing… and me with a pretty intense bout of flu that still had me coughing & spluttering 5weeks down the track).

But now… the dust is starting to settle… not only are the inhabitants of the city continuing on with their lives, but even Brussels airport has re-opened with flights departing & arriving since Sunday 3rd April 2016 (even if the whole airport process is more complicated and requires travelers to be there 3hr before their flights) – and I decided it was high time that I got my “a” back into “g” (ass back into gear) and started sharing more food related posts again.

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This Buttermilk Banana Loaf recipe was adapted from “I am baker” and proved to be easy to make as well as easy to eat. It was less *banana-ish* than my normal loaves, and the inclusion of buttermilk was minor. But still… a definite make again.

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Buttermilk Banana Loaf

1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2-3 large bananas (mashed)
1/4 cup of buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 cups all purpose cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt

  • Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarb & salt)
  • Cream butter & sugar together
  • Add eggs to sugar/butter mixture one at a time, beating between each addition
  • Mix in buttermilk & vanilla essence until just combined
  • Slowly fold in the dry sifted mixture
  • Mix until just combined and then also fold in the mashed banana
  • Pour in a greased loaf pan
  • Bake for 50-60minutes at 180C

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Quick Soda Bread

One wintery Sunday afternoon (which also happened to be Valentines day), we shared the table with a few friends – eating, drinking, laughing (lots of this, especially Little Miss who decided that our conversation was hysterically funny) and essentially “breaking bread”!

Bread you say…. yes, served with a homemade pumpkin soup as a starter and only having about 2hr between church and their arrival, I didn’t actually have time to whip up a *REAL* loaf of bread… from scratch and all. So I decided to use what I had and make a quick soda bread… no waiting time for the dough to proof, no hard labour kneading… just a quick mix, quick knead and into the oven for 30min.

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I found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website and although I didn’t have wholemeal flour – I used only normal flour and the end result was more of a warm scone type bread … but still delicious with soup! (The loaf fed 6 of us as an accompaniment with our soup starter)

Would I make it again? Yes…

Quick Soda Bread

170g self-raising wholemeal flour
170g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
290ml buttermilk

  • Place dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to mix
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, stirring quickly with a fork to form a soft dough
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly
  • Place into a greased loaf tin
  • Back for 30min at 200C

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Butter Dips (SRC)

I can’t believe how quickly time flies by… it was only the other day that I was getting ready to head off on Maternity leave and take a short break from blogging… 4 months later, I am back at work and back working on the blog… and of course, back to Secret Recipe Club reveals.

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For those who aren’t aware – SRC (Secret Recipe Club) is an online platform for recipe swapping.. using a “secret santa” approach. I.e. you have no idea who will be making something from your blog until your groups reveal day! Exciting, eh?

This month, I got Little Bit of Everything as my blog to check out. Written by Julie who describes herself as a 50-something from Nebraska (that is in the USA :)) who loves cooking, travelling and her garden (The first 2 falling into a few of my favourite things!!). Plus I fell in love with the fact that she has a Julia Child (my other obsession) idea of completing 50 recipes that she hasn’t yet made. In fact, I loved this idea so much, I might actually try to put together something similar!

I thoroughly enjoyed browsing her site – trying to decide on what to make… would it be Honey beer Bread or Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding Cake (because I adore Rhubarb!!!) or this bubble up pizza?

But I realized that we are both big lovers of biscuits & all things bread… so when I saw this recipe for Butter dips… I was sold. (I could eat bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner… and all snacks in between….) and of course… butter… what more can a woman like me ask for????

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OMG… these are delicious!!!! I made mine in muffin trays (made 10) and we scoffed half of them straight out the oven with cups of coffee for a late breakfast.

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Butter Dip Quick Bread

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup of buttermilk (or regular milk)

  • Cut butter into pieces and place into a microwave dish to melt
  • While the butter is melting, mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Stir in the buttermilk/milk (staring with 2/3 of a cup and adding more if necessary) to make a loose dough
  • Press the dough in the pan over the melted butter
  • using a knife, cut the dough into pieces
  • Bake for 12-15minutes at 225C (450F)

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Nutella swirled banana bread (SRC)

That’s right folks – it is Secret Recipe Club time again!

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For those who aren’t aware – SRC (Secret Recipe Club) is an international blog swap concept whereby each month, a blogger is assigned another bloggers site with the intention of re-creating a recipe, blogging about it and sharing it on the same day at the same time as the rest of the group. It is great fun!

This month – I got 2 Cookin’ Mamas – a mother/daughter blogging team by the names of Linda & Christina, who focus on providing easy & healthy recipes for busy moms! Something that I can definitely relate to … especially now that Little Miss is 2months old and definitely keeping me busy!

They have co-authored a cookbook together and Mom (aka Linda) has 40years of cooking experience under her belt… but she keeps her svelte figure by being an aerobics instructor (as well as working in Marketing) while Christina is a certified Nutritionist. So basically two skinny ladies with a love of food … I wasn’t even sure that this was possible 🙂 But trust me … it is.. and with delicious food!!

I was tempted by their Quick & easy Parmesan  bread rolls, double chocolate banana bread , cheesy orzo with broccoli and and and and…. – but finally decided that I wanted (rephrase “needed”) to make the Nutella swirled banana bread! I made it without the chocolate spread as I am not a fan of frostings… but let me tell you this, it is delicious and sweet enough with it!

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SOOO delicious! Do yourself a favour… make this!

Nutella swirled banana bread

1.5 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 ripe banana’s (peeled & mashed)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup Nutella (or whatever your favourite chocolate spread is)

  • combine dry ingredients together
  • in another bowl – mix banana’s, eggs and oil together
  • Combine wet mixture & dry
  • Separate evenly into two bowls – adding nutella to the one mixture
  • Drop spoonfuls of each batter into a greased loaf tin
  • Bake at 180C for 60-70min

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Buttermilk Biscuits (SRC)

After taking a one month blogging sabbatical from SRC (because of the birth of our gorgeous little girl) – I am back and ready to share another delicious blog & recipe with you…

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For those who don’t remember – SRC (Secret Recipe Club) is a blog swap /Secret Santa concept whereby each month, we are allocated another’s blog to review and make something from… all to be revealed on the same day at the same time in our particular group (Group B).

This month – I got Goodie Godmother… a blog that looked so professional that I had to double-check that I had the right website! Mary is a lover of baking, travel and gives everything a little bit of pixie dust sprinkle… which just made me smile 🙂 Funnily enough – we both majored in mathematics at university… and we both consider the kitchen to be our “happy place”. Mary is also married and has a baby girl… so the connections just keep appearing 🙂 (and her love of caramel over chocolate is something that my HIM agrees to!)

Her blog is jam-packed full of delicious looking recipes – from stuffed eggplants to buttercream rose frosted cupcakes to S’Mores Cheesecake.

But when I saw these Southern Buttermilk Biscuits/Bread recipe – I knew that it was something that I wanted to try! In the US (and parts of Canada) – a biscuit is essentially the term for a “quick” bread with a crust and soft interior. They rely on baking powder or baking soda as opposed to yeast and therefore don’t need time to rise (hence the term “quick bread”).

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They can be enjoyed with sweet or savoury items… but for the purposes of this recipe… I was thinking along the lines of scones – with jam….as their consistency is something between a scone and bread… yet neither sweet nor salty. A definite make again.

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Buttermilk “Biscuits”

2 cups of self-raising flour
6 tablespoons butter (chilled and cubed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

  • Add salt to flour
  • Cut in the butter to the dry mixture and using your fingers make a crumble
  • Add the buttermilk & mix to create a dough
  • On a floured surface, cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter
  • Line baking dish with greased paper
  • Bake for 10-15minutes at 180C

Serve with lashing of butter and jam (like I did!)

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