Tag Archives: Fruit

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
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Poached pears in red wine

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So as promised here is the poached pears in red wine recipe that I mentioned in my post Mascarpone and cinnamon ice-cream.

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I would love to say that this is my recipe, but it came from a great food blog I follow night quite Nigella. This dessert is De-lish, rich syrupy spiced red wine covering soft but not too soft beurre bosc pears, the ideal pear variety for poaching.

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The Mascarpone and cinnamon ice-cream match these pears beautifully, carrying through with the cinnamon, and the ice-cream being subtle enough not to take away the star of this desert that is the poached pear.

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Make sure that you use a good quality wine what’s that saying “if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it” (or something along those lines). I really think that analogy is really important in this recipe as the wine really is the main flavour ingredient, and then whats left in the bottle well you may as well drink that, then maybe open up another bottle :-). Nothing like a good full bodied red wine to warm the soul in winter :-).

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RECIPE;

  • 5 large beurre bosc , firm
  • 2.5 cups red wine
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of mandarin or orange peel or zest
  • 2 inch piece of lemon zest


METHOD;

1. Place the red wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and zests onto the heat to boil in a pot that fits all of the pears snugly upright. Meanwhile peel the pears well making sure that you get all of the skin off (the skin that remains won’t colour). By the time you’ve finished peeling, your wine should be boiling. Add the pears and cook turning three or four times for 25 minutes  (check as it also depends on how big your pears are). Remove the pears as soon as they are done to prevent further cooking (you don’t want them to become too soft).

2. Taste the syrup and if you want it thicker, then put it back on the boil and reduce until syrupy-anywhere from 5-12 minutes.

Apple blackberry and port crumble

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There is not much to say really about this dessert except that it is absolutely, no doubts about it ‘delicious’. The port in this recipe brings the humble crumble to a whole new level. I used a beautiful port from our gorgeous South Australian Barossa Valley, that I collected on my last wine visit.

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This crumble has a deep richness to it, it’s sweet but not too sweet, the apple is cooked so it still holds its shape, the berries are soft and a little tart and the port is reduced down to a sweet syrup which brings it all together. Then of course there is the crumble topping that brings texture and crunch and a little bit of earthiness with the walnuts.

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A perfect winter dessert that warms the soul and makes you feel good inside, like comfort food should.

RECIPE:

  • 6 large green apples
  • 300g blackberries
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 250ml port
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp caster sugar

Topping

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3 Tsp plain flour
  • 2 Tsp coconut
  • 3 Tsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tsp rolled oats
  • 3 Tsp roughly chopped walnuts

METHOD:

  1. preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. peel, core and slice apples in 1cm slices
  3. melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat add apples and stir occasionally until apples begin to soften
  4. add blackberries, sugar, cinnamon and port, cook gently until juices start to come out of the fruit
  5. using a slotted spoon scoop fruit into either individual dishes or a large casserole dish
  6. leave the port and fruit juices on medium heat and reduce until you have a syrupy liquid about 10-15 minutes
  7. spoon liquid over the fruit

Topping

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl and using finger tips gently rub butter through mixture
  2. spoon crumble mix over fruit
  3. bake in oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown
  4. serve with ice cream or custard

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Almond BLUEBERRY and PEAR MUFFINS

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I was catching up with a friend Claudia for coffee last week, and we were talking about food like we do………………..

I love talking to Claudia about food, she has an Italian back ground and she is always telling the most wonderful stories about what her father makes, the old style Italian way, she constantly has me salivating. She has told me about so many recipes that I have put down on my to make list.

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Any how the conversation somehow turned its way into muffins and that got me all muffin-excited !!!!!!! we kept coming up with flavour combinations, ones we had made, ones we would like to make. So here it is I decided to make almond blueberry and pear, and they even tasted better then I imagined they would.

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I made little bite size ones which will be great for packing in the kids lunch boxes. But big ones would be great for an easy breakfast yum yum yum.

RECIPE:

  • 195g plain flour
  • 30g almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g melted butter
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 125ml milk
  • 110g blueberries ( I used frozen)
  • 1 pear cored and chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
  • flakes almonds to garnish the tops of the muffins

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 190ºC
  2. Combine sifted flour, almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt and sugar in a bowl
  3. Add fruit and stir to combine, make a well in the centre
  4. in a separate bowl whisk together egg, milk and butter
  5. pour milk mixture in the centre of the flour mix and stir until just combined
  6. spoon into your  prepared muffin tins
  7. bake for 15-50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in centre ( bake time will vary depending on what size muffins you make

recipe sourced from crumbsfeedyourfamily.blogspot.com.au

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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Salad for lunch; Roast Pumpkin & Chickpea

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I’m very pleased to say that this beautiful pumpkin came from my garden :-). Now the truth be known I actually had very little to do with it. It is self sown from my compost, it’s always such a nice  surprise when something unexpected pops up in the garden Minus the horrid WEEDS of course. When this particular pumpkin vine started fruiting all of the baby fruit keep turning yellow and falling off, now I’m not really sure why but if you have any clues as to why this happens I’d love to know. I had pretty much given up hope of getting any edible fruit, but just didn’t have the heart to pull the vine out ( it did look pretty in my garden)

Earlier in the year Hubby and I went to Thailand for a holiday, and we left my mum and dad in charge of the house, garden and children. Well my dad must of been good luck as he was the primary caretaker of the garden (my mum has brown thumbs), because when I returned from Thailand we had fruit woohoo!!!!!!, and it was going strong. I have been patiently watching and caring for the little bundle of pumpkin joy since then. I have now finally got to eat it. Sorry dad, (he’s not here to enjoy it as my parents are off being grey-nomads in their caravan).

Lunch today for me needed to be quite substantial as this morning I went for a run, and that always makes me hungry. So I came up with this little salad; healthy, tasty, nutritional and delicious. I already had my oven on as I was roasting potatoes to makes goats cheese gnocchi for dinner tonight, and my beautiful home grown pumpkin was just begging me to eat it. So I chopped a piece up into wedges seasoned with some homemade chilli flakes fresh oregano from my garden and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper, a rub of some olive oil and in the oven she went. I also had some lovely truss cherry tomatoes ( these sadly are not from my garden, the weather has gotten too cold to grow tomatoes) so when the pumpkin was almost cooked I threw them in the oven to roast. And as for the chickpeas well I think pumpkin and chickpeas are a match made in heaven, plus they are full of energy to keep me going after my run. So with not too much effort at all I had a yummy lunch 🙂

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RECIPE:

The Salad;

  • 150g pumpkin chopped into wedges ( I used a Japanese pumpkin but butternut would work just as well)
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • couple sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic skin left on
  • 6 vine ripened truss cherry tomatoes
  • Handfull of mixed salad leaves
  • 1/4 small red onion sliced
  • 125g tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 50g fetta cheese

The Dressing

  • 3 Tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tsp lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp finely chopped oregano
  • the 2 roasted garlic cloves from the pumpkin tray
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the dressing;

  • peel the roasted garlic and finely chop
  • place in a small bowl with with oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper
  • whisk to combine

For the salad;

  1. preheat oven to 180º
  2.  place pumpkin wedges onto a baking tray sprinkle with chilli flakes season with salt and pepper, add the oregano sprigs and garlic cloves, pour over the olive oil and toss until all  combined and well convered
  3. place in oven bake for 20 minutes or until golden, add tomatoes in the last 10 minutes of cooking time
  4. once cooked leave to rest and cool slightly
  5. place lettuce mix on a plate or in a bowl
  6. arrange pumpkin and tomato on top
  7. add chickpeas, onion,and crumbled fetta
  8. drizzle over the salad dressing
  9. Then serve

YET ANOTHER PERSIMMON RECIPE: persimmon cheesecake with a walnut crust

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I know your probably thinking not another persimmon recipe!!!!!!! Just let me say that when my friend brought me over three buckets of this gorgeous fruit they were very large buckets.  I have been making persimmon recipe after persimmon recipe, which is ok because my family all love persimmons.

Because the variety of persimmons I have, they are the astringent type (which means they have a high tannin content, making immature fruit bitter and leaving a puckered furry taste/feeling in mouth) I’m a little limited in the recipes I can make, they are all desert types as the fruit needs to be extremely ripe and soft. The fruit when ripe has a waxy thin skinned shell with a thick jelly like pulp inside it is sweet and delicious.

And as far as desserts go cheesecake has to be up there at the top. A rich smooth creamy cake so versatile in flavours your limited only by your imagination.

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I’ve gone for a baked cheesecake for this recipe, as I actually prefer them, this recipe is based off the traditional new york cheesecake . The texture of this persimmon cheesecake is smooth and creamy and not too sweet, the sour cream topping adding the final touch and balance to this delicious dessert.

RECIPE:

  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tsp melted butter
  • 2 cups pureed persimmons
  • 750g cream cheese
  • 11/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 6 eggs
  • 11/4 cups sour cream
  • 3 Tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170º
  2. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until fine, then mix together in a bowl with brown sugar and melted butter
  3. Press in mixture into into the bottom of a 20cm spring form pan
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes set aside to cool completely
  5. Combine persimmons, cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, cinnamon,and ginger in food processor, blend until smooth
  6. Add eggs 1 at a time mixing well between each addition
  7. pour mixture over cooled crust
  8. bake in preheated oven until mostly set centre still being slightly jiggly, 60 – 75 minutes
  9. While cheesecake is baking, whisk together sour cream, sugar and vanilla
  10. spread evenly over cheesecake while still hot and return to oven for another 10 minutes
  11. Allow to cool completely, then cover loosely with aluminium foil and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours or overnight before serving

To serve I decorated with walnuts and fresh persimmon puree.

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recipe source; allrecipes.com.au