Banana Bread

There are always bananas in our house – either green, yellow or turning a nasty shade of brown. There are always frozen bananas in our freezer which are perfect for smoothies or fake ice-cream. And I regularly bake a banana bread with the excuse that I am using up the over-ripe bananas…. any excuse really ūüôā

I have no idea where this recipe came from as it is in my hand-written recipe book… which probably came from my mothers hand-written recipe book. But origins aside – it is an absolute winner! Quick, easy and tasty.

Banana Bread

150g butter
cup of sugar
2 eggs
cup of mashed banana
1 banana sliced length ways
60ml plain yoghurt
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda)

  1. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, mashed banana & yoghurt together
  2. Sift in Flour, bicarb & baking powder
  3. Beat on a low speed
  4. Pour into a greased loaf tin
  5. Arrange sliced banana on top
  6. Bake at 180C for 50-60min

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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 Na√Įve 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 ūüôā

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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 ūüôā

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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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Plum Cake

In my normal excitable state when it comes to food shopping, I bought more plums than we could eat before they got really ripe. (oops)

But do not fear – this is always a good excuse to bake… right? (I wonder if subconsciously this was my plan all along??)

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I found this recipe online (google-box) on the NY Time cooking section¬†for what they called a *Plum Torte*… but to me, this was a cake.

Whatever you want to call it – it was delicious! Simple to make, 50min in the oven and ta-da… a yummy treat easily enjoyed as a hot pudding with custard after dinner or just a slice with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

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Plum Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
12 plums, halved

  • Beat sugar & butter together
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time
  • Sift in flour & baking powder & combine
  • Pour into a greased cake tin
  • place halved plums on top of cake batter (skin side down)
  • Bake at 180C for 40-50min

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Banana upside down cinnamon cake

Our latest fruit and vegetable delivery was a bit disappointing with all the fruit at the peak of ripeness on the day of their arrival. This meant that we had to think (aka eat) quickly before items were beyond saving.

The banana’s however were well-ripe on day 3, and with 4 left on the bunch (after both of us eating one each day prior to that) – I knew that it was time to make this recipe!

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The¬†BBC Good Food Magazine (May 2016 issue) had a recipe for “sticky upside-down banana cake”. I made a few changes by omitting the ground ginger and using buttermilk instead of soured cream in the cake mix and all in all, it turned out pretty well. HIM happily devoured a few slices and said it reminded him a Portuguese Honey cake.

This is a DEFINITE make again kind of cake… something that I was able to whip up relatively quickly with a 10month old sitting on the floor next to me playing with plastic containers… and I had it in the oven before boredom rolled in for her!

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Banana Upside down cinnamon cake

80g butter
150g muscovado sugar
4 bananas

240g flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
300g caster sugar
120g butter, softened
3 large eggs
150ml buttermilk

  • Place butter (80g) & sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat until melted & combined
  • Pour into greased cake tin
  • Cut bananas in half and arrange on top of the caramel
  • To make batter, beat together sugar and softened butter, adding eggs one at a time
  • Then add flour, baking powder, cinnamon & buttermilk and continue to mix/whisk until smooth & evenly combined
  • Pour batter over bananas
  • Bake for 50-60min at 180C

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Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love trying out new recipes… which is why my food magazine addiction keeps publishers in business…

So when I saw the picture of this recipe on the front cover of the Olive Magazine (May 2016 issue) РI knew it was a *must make*

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I made one fatal mistake… I left them in the oven too long .. so the middle wasn’t as squishy as it should have been. Taste wise… they were awesome and I would definitely try them again… especially the level of chocolate (which is SUPER high). I even threw in a handful of blueberries… Mmmm

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Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

16 Bourbon Biscuits
100g butter
200g chocolate (they say dark, but I used a mix of dark & milk)
4 eggs
250g caster sugar
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g cocoa powder

  • Keep 5 of the biscuits to one side. Using a sharp knife, cut down the middle to separate the side. Roughly chop the reminder of the biscuits
  • Melt butter & chocolate together over a water bath and leave to cool to room temperature
  • Whisk together eggs & sugar until mixture is pale & double in volume
  • fold in the chocolate mixture
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and fold in
  • Stir in the chopped biscuits (and¬†a handful of blueberries if you are adventurous like me)
  • Spoon into a greased baking tin
  • Bake for 20-25min at 180C

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Rhubarb Cake with Dr Oetker

I was recently lucky enough to receive a goodie box of Dr Oetker baking supplies for World Baking Day (17 May 2016)

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What did I do with them?

Well – firstly – I used the Gla√ßage P√Ętissier (aka icing) to make my office birthday chocolate brownie cake look pretty…

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And then I pimped up the¬†Biscuit G√©noise Cake Mix with some roasted rhubarb… easy? Damn right. Tasty? Without a doubt! Would I do it again! YES! The cake mix sponge texture is really delicious and HIM has already mentioned that he would happily eat it again (although this time with blueberries instead of the tart rhubarb…as he likes things SWEET!)

one note – the rhubarb although prettily arranged on the raw cake mix actually disappeared when baked, as the cake batter rose over it…

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Rhubarb Cake

1 box Biscuit Génoise Cake Mix
4 Eggs (as per box instructions)
50ml Milk (as per box instructions)
500g Rhubarb
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

  • wash & cut your rhubarb into chunks (or long slices like I did)
  • Place on a baking tray with lemon juice & sugar
  • Bake for 15-20minutes at 180C
  • Remove from oven & cool
  • Prepare the Dr Oetker Cake Mix as per instructions (with eggs & milk)
  • Place rhubarb & cake mix in a greased, lined cake tin
  • Bake for 30min at 160

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Carrot and Banana Cake

Vegetables in a cake means it is ok to have more than one slice, right? Right???

carrot and banana cake

I had a few banana’s that were starting to ripen quicker than we could eat them (I mean, I can only eat one a day… and soon as they get ripe & soft, I am immediately put of) and of course… carrots. We always have carrots – for dipping in hummus, for the base of soups, to boil as a side vegetable when I am really lazy… etc

I found this recipe on the Good to Know website (my first time visiting) and I have to admit it was a really easy recipe to make. Instead of using mixed spice – I used half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Would I make it again? Yes.. Yes…Yes

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Carrot and Banana Cake

280g Self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
60g raisins
170g sugar
2 ripe banana’s (peeled & mashed)
220g carrots (peeled & grated)
3 eggs (beaten)
170ml sunflower oil

  • Sift flour, baking powder & cinnamon
  • Stir in raisins & sugar
  • Beat eggs with oil and add to dry ingredients along with carrots & banana
  • Bake in a greased cake tin for 50minutes at 180C
  • Leave to cool on a wire cooling tray

Cream cheese Icing

50g Butter (softened)
300g Icing sugar
150g cream cheese

  • Beat butter with icing sugar until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  • Beat in the cream cheese until smooth
  • Cut cake in half and sandwich together with half of the icing. Use the rest of the icing to cover the top of the cake

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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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Lemon Poppy seed Cake

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I was contacted by JolyCake to test out one of their cake collars… something that I had never used before… but am now completely sold on the idea.

“What is a cake collar?” you ask…

They are normally¬†a clear¬†acetate plastic strip that goes around cakes & desserts to hold the filling in. It also makes baking cleaner!!! I placed mine around the edge of my springform tin before pouring in the batter to bake and when the cake came out the oven cooked – it was easy to lift the cake collar off … leaving no crumbs on/in my tin!!

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Having said this – receiving baking aids are only fun if you actually bake with them… so I was on the search for a cake recipe… having found this Lemon Poppyseed Cake Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – I knew this was it!

I didn’t make the glaze – and the cake was still good … with HIM declaring that it tasted like ice-cream (?????)

Would I make the cake again? Yes… Would I use JolyCake cake collars again? Also yes!

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Lemon Poppy seed cake

2 & 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 cup of poppy seeds
1 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Lemon juice (2 lemons)
Lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

  • Sift flour & cornstarch into a bowl
  • Whisk in bicarb, salt, baking powder & poppy seeds
  • In a separate large bowl, using an electric beater, beat together butter & caster sugar, adding eggs one at a time
  • Add vanilla, lemon zest & lemon juice¬†and continue to beat at a slow speed (don’t worry if it looks like the mixture has split, it will come back together again)
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 phases, interspersing with a the buttermilk – and mixing between each addition (batter will be thick)
  • Place in a greased (or cake collar-ed) tin
  • Bake for 50min at 180C

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