Tag Archives: Banana

Mini Banana Cakes with lemon cream cheese icing

IMG_1468I have been making this banana cake recipe for years, and before I was making it my mum was. Not sure where she got this recipe, but it’s a winner :-).

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There is something quite nostalgic when you make a recipe that you grew up eating as a child, it invokes memories and feelings, it’s what we call comfort food.

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This banana cake is moist and soft the only important thing in making this recipe is make sure you have very ripe bananas, the riper the better.

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RECIPE for Banana cake:

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 260g Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp bi-carbonate soda
  • 2 Tsp milk

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time beating well between each addition
  4. Mash bananas, then beat in with vanilla
  5. Fold in half the sifted flour and bicarbonate soda, add milk, then fold in remaining flour. (try not to work batter too much at this will make for a tough cake, as you over work the gluten in the flour)
  6. place batter into prepared cake pan(s) (I used mini loaf tins, but you can one big cake or cupcakes or 1 large loaf cake)
  7. bake in oven until skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre, (cooking times will vary depending on the size of your cake, the bigger the cake the longer it will take. My mini loaf cakes took about 20-25 minutes)

RECIPE lemon cream cheese icing:

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

METHOD:

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until soft and smooth
  2. add icing sugar and lemon zest, mix to combine
  3. spread generously on top of banana cake(s) and decorate as desired

Chocolate eclairs, Caramel eclairs, double chocolate eclairs…….etc etc

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I have been thinking for a while now that I would really like to have a go a making some chocolate eclairs. I think they are yummy and look pretty.

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I wasn’t quite sure why but I thought they would be much harder to make then they actually were. Bearing in mind that mine don’t look as perfect as those you buy in a patisserie, but they are home made and they are supposed to be humble and rustic….. well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it :-).

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I followed Adriano Zumbos recipe for choux pastry, which is delicious but also makes a lot, so I got a little carried away experimenting with different flavours. I made traditional chocolate eclairs with the vanilla creme patisserie then I made double chocolate, carmel, raspberry and chocolate (which were my favourite) and banana caramel.

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The family and everyone else I gave them to loved them, they were a massive hit and I will definitely be making them again. To quote my youngest son Alex who is eight and gorgeous ( I know I’m probably a little bit biased, but he is gorgeous 🙂 ) ” they are so amazing mummy I can feel my eyes open wide when I eat one”.

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RECIPE:

CHOUX PASTRY;

  • 300g unsalted butter chopped
  • 320g water ( I know this unusual I’ve only ever seen Adriano’s recipes ask for liquids in weight before)
  • 16g caster sugar
  • 400g milk
  • 16g salt
  • 400g plain flour, sifted
  • 612g eggs ( appox 10 eggs depending on your egg size)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 210ºC
  2. combine butter, water, sugar, milk, and salt in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil
  3. remove from heat and quickly beat in the flour with a wooden spoon
  4. return pan to heat and continue beating until mixture comes together and leaves the sides of pan, beat over low heat for another 1-2minutes to cook the flour, remove form heat and allow mixture to cool slightly
  5. transfer to an electric mixer, begin beating on medium speed to release some of the heat, gradually add eggs one at a time beating well between each addition
  6. beat mixture for several more minutes, or until thick and glossy
  7. spoon mixture (working in batches) into a piping bag with a 12-15 mm plain nozzel
  8. pipe 8cm length ropes on greased baking trays leaving room between for rising
  9. bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until firm and hollow when tapped, transfer to wire racks to cool completely

CREME PATISSIERE 

  • 1.5kg milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 375g egg yolks
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 150g cornflour
  • 150g unsalted butter

this makes a large batch so if you want to use other filings as well halve it

Method

  1. Heat milk and vanilla over medium heat until almost boiling
  2. whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour in a electric mixer until pale and thick
  3. gradually whisk in hot milk
  4. return mixture to the pan and whisk continuously over medium heat until custard comes to the boil
  5. boil for 1 minute
  6. transfer to a bowl cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface ( this stops a skin forming)
  7. cool to 50º then return to electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk in butter until smooth
  8. return to bowl cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely

CHOCOLATE CREME PATISSERIE:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn flour

Method

  1. Place milk, chocolate and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to the boil
  2. whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick
  3. add corn flour whisk to combine
  4. slowly add hot milk whisking continuously
  5. pour mixture back into pan over medium-high heat simmer while whisking continuously for 5 minutes or until pale and thick
  6. transfer to a clean bowl cover with plastic wrap pressing onto the surface, cool completely

CARAMEL CREME PATISSERIE:

  • 220g caster sugar
  • 450ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 45g cornflour
  • 60ml thickened cream

Method

  1. stir 150g sugar and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium heat-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook, without stirring , until dark caramel
  2. remove from heat, add milk being careful as it will spit and bubble
  3. return to heat and whisk to combine ( the caramel will be quite hard but that is ok, as it reheats it will soften and combine)
  4. whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in electric mixer until pale and thickened, add cornflour whisk to combine
  5. strain milk, then gradually add to egg mixture, whisking continuously
  6. return to pan over medium heat whisking continuously until thick and smooth
  7. transfer to a bowl cover with plastic wrap pushing onto surface, refrigerate until chilled
  8. whisk until smooth, then fold in whipped cream

Power Smoothie

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After writing my post about my 10km Greenbelt run and my energy boosting banana smoothie a friend who has been following my blog on Facebook sent me a message to share with me her breakfast smoothie. And I must say after making and drinking this I now have a new breakfast smoothie, its delicious and a great energy start to the day.

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POWER SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 100 mls milk ( I use almond milk)
  • 1 tsp honey ( you can add more if you like your smoothies sweeter)
  • 1 Tsp chia seeds or quiona flakes
  • small handful baby spinach leaves
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth

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MY 10km GREENBELT RUN & energy boosting BANANA smoothie

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Today my friend Tammy and I ran the Greenbelt 10km run. This was Tammys first ever 10km run, and she has only been running for our couple of weeks. I was very proud of her as she didn’t stop once, it was an awesome effort 🙂 Well done Tam. I have been running on off for most of my adult life and after some time away from it recently I have just got back into it. If you can run it is such a great thing (well any exercise is I just really enjoy running) exercise is one of natures, natural anti-drepresents as it releases all those feel good endorphins and once you get your breath back and have washed off the sweat you feel amazing.

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When running, like any exercise it is really important to fuel your body before and after. For me being an early morning start I have trouble eating so I get my energy levels up with a energy boosting banana smoothie. Bananas are a really good choice for pre and post exercise as they are high in potassium which is necessary for good muscle function as well as maintaining a healthy balance of fluids and can also help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Bananas are also high in carbohydrates which are great for keeping your energy levels high. I use Almond milk for my smoothies as cows milk doesn’t agree with me, but you can use any milk you like; cows, soy, rice etc.

MY BANANA SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

  • I large banana broken up into pieces
  • 2 Tsp of natural low fat yoghurt
  • 1Tsp honey
  • 1 Tsp psyllium husk or oat bran
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • pinch nutmeg
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

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Treat yourself to a little decadence; Chocolate Banoffee Pie

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If you are in the mood for something rich sweet and decadent then these little pies are for you. A take on the traditional Banoffee pie, this decadent desert has a crumbly chocolate and pecan biscuit base, filled with a dulce de leche  and banana filling, topped with a light delicate meringue. I make my own dulce de leche (a South American Carmel) and it is so easy. It takes just a little time but it’s well worth it. I found a great recipe for both the traditional method and also the quick method (using condensed milk) on this blog http://www.laylita.com/recipes. I used the quick method for my recipe, as did the creator of the banoffee pie (Ian Dowding, chef at The Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex,where he created this desert in 1972).

So if you feel like blowing off the calories for a day and spoiling yourself then give this sweet treat a go. 🙂

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RECIPE:

  • 190G plain chocolate biscuits ( I used chocolate ripple by arrnotts)
  • 90g pecans
  • 75g unsalted melted butter
  • 1 large or 2 small mashed bananas
  • 6 Tsp thickened cream
  • 150ml dulce de leche
  • cocoa powder to dust

MERINGUE:

METHOD:

  1. Lightly grease 6 small round loose bottomed tart pans
  2. Place biscuits and pecans in food processor and pulse until resembles fine bread crumbs
  3. Add butter and and mix to combine
  4. Press firmly in the base and sides of tart pans
  5. chill for 15 minutes or until firm
  6. preheat oven to 180º
  7. Place banana, cream, dulce de leche  and a pinch of salt flakes in a bowl and stir till well combined
  8. Spread filling in pie shells and bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, reduce oven to 150º

FOR MERINGUE:

  1. whisk egg whites with electric beater until frothy
  2. whisking continuously on high speed gradually add sugar, whisk to stiff peaks
  3. Add cream of tartar and vinegar, and whisk until just combined
  4. Place meringue into a piping bag fitted with a small star shaped nozzle
  5. Pipe over pies
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until meringue is golden
  7. Cool pies completely in pans, remove dust with cocoa and serve

Adapted from the original recipe of Katie Quinn Davies

PERSIMMONS = Smoothie time

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My very good friend recently turned up to my house with three very large buckets of freshly picked persimmons. Yum!! my mind immediately starts ticking over, persimmon recipes what can I make with these little gems. Persimmons are such a gorgeous exotic fruit, with their sweet jelly like middle, they are also rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidents. They are also low in calories and a rich source of dietary fibre. There are quite a few things you can make with them and trust me there will be more persimmon blogs to follow :-).

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One of the first things I thought of to make was fruit smoothies. Smoothies are very popular in my house and the kids often have one for afternoon tea, they are wholesome, healthy and filling perfect for those hungry bellies. I made up two different fruit combinations the first being persimmon, banana and cinnamon made on almond milk , the other persimmon orange and coconut which was a much lighter combination and my favourite of the two.

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PERSIMMON, BANANA & CINNAMON

  • Pulp of 3-4 persimmons
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey ( you can add more or less depending how sweet you want it)
  • a pinch cinnamon
  • handfull crushed ice (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth

PERSIMMON, ORANGE & COCONUT

  • pulp of 3-4 Persimmon
  • juice 1 orange
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey ( you can add more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
  • pinch cardamon
  • handfull crushed ice (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.