Best Banana Cake

Sometimes modesty is the best policy – but not when it comes to this banana cake. Gooey and moist, just the right amount of sweetness, and with a delicious buttery nut topping that adds the perfect amount of crunch.

It’s based on a recipe from this wonderful compendium, but with a couple of alterations which make it even more moist and banana-y – because that’s how I like my banana cakes 🙂

Banana Cake
(based of Stephanie’s Simple Banana Cake recipe)

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 115g softened unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups mashed banana (I like to leave mine a little chunky)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/3 cup butter milk

Topping

  • 100g butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans (walnuts would also be yummy)
  • 3 tbsp self raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  3. Cream butter and sugar
  4. Beat in eggs, banana and vanilla
  5. Combine dry ingredients, and add to banana mixture, alternating with buttermilk
  6. Spoon into cake tin
  7. Combine ingredients for topping (I find a fork is a useful method of doing this)
  8. Spoon dollops onto the surface of your cake
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until tests clean
  10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack
  11. You should wait until it’s cool before cutting. But it smelt so good that I didn’t…

Omnomnomnomnomnom

I took this cake into work, and within two hours there was not a crumb left. So I think I can term this cake a success.

I know that for me, nothing can rival my mother’s lasagna, or my brownies. Have you got any recipes that you think are the “best”?

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Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake

I’ve finished my essay. I’ve been working all week. In summary, I’m exhausted.
I’m also hungry.

It was time for the pasta bake. Quick and easy, a meal in itself, and unbelievably delicious. But the thing that makes it the ultimate comfort food – it’s healthy too! While nothing will ever eclipse my love for lasagna, this pasta bake certainly gets close 🙂

Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake
(Adapted from this recipe from Eats Well with Others)

Ingredients:

  • 4 capsicums of various colours, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to garnish
  • 1 tbsp italian herbs
  • 450g wholemeal pasta
  • 500g pasta sauce (whichever flavour you choose, will be the flavour of your pasta bake!)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/4 grated parmesan

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees
  2. Toss vegetables with olive oil, herbs and a grind of salt and pepper. Roast until tender (about 20 minutes)
  3. Cook pasta in boiling water for about 7 minutes (it will not be completely cooked)
  4. Toss roast vegetables, pasta, sauce and cheddar
  5. Place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan
  6. Bake until top is golden, about 10 minutes


I managed to find four different colours of capsicum! Of course I had to buy all four, but I usually get 2 red and two green.

My dad has managed to find a peeler which peels pumpkin, which is probably the best invention of all time. It was only a matter of time before I cut off a finger trying to cut the skin of a pumpkin.

The easiest way I’ve found to coat the veggies with the oil and herbs is to put them all in the bag and toss them together 🙂

What’s your favourite comfort food?

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Rosemary Buns

I woke up this morning and realised that the essay I thought was due next Monday is actually due on Friday. So I immediately threw myself into an episode of procrastibaking. Which is like procrastinating, but far more delicious.

There’s nothing like letting some dough rise to relax when you’re stressed out. What do you mean that might have been time better spent on my essay?

I can’t hear you, I’m distracted by how amazing these buns smell. 🙂

Rosemary Buns
(Very slightly adapted from this recipe from In Katrina’s Kitchen)
Print Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2-3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt + extra for topping
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Mix yeast, sugar and milk and let sit until bubbles form
  2. Add 2 cups of flour, salt and dried rosemary and form a dough, adding extra flour as needed
  3. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic
  4. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size
  5. Punch dough down and divide into four sections and let rest for a few minutes
  6. Shape dough into logs, brush with olive oil and sprinkle on fresh rosemary. Allow to rest for half an hour
  7. Sprinkle with salt, then bake at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden on top





Perhaps I better get back to my essay now…

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Hot “Cross” Bread

I usually work on Saturdays, so I haven’t had two days off all year. But with the Easter weekend I finally managed to get a chance to do some baking with yeast! 🙂

After my Easter Cake I made last week I didn’t really want to eat any more chocolate. Ever. I’m sure there’s quite a few people feeling that way after today 🙂 but I still wanted to bake something Easter-themed. I found this amazing recipe that looked absolutely beautiful, so I modified it to have similar spices as hot cross buns, and dried fruit – it became hot cross bread!

While it may look a little unusual, this bread was delicious. Sweet and crunchy on top, soft and fluffy in the centre, smothered in butter and with plump sultanas, it tasted just like hot cross buns, only better.

Hot Cross Bread
(adapted from this recipe from Just Loves Cookin)
Print Recipe 

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 20g yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30g melted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 300g flour

Glaze

  • 50g melted butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp allspice
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg

Method:

  1. Combine yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbles begin to appear.
  2. Add egg yolk, melted butter, salt and flour
  3. Knead the dough and then form a ball, then place in a greased bowl in a warm place and let rise for about an hour
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  5. Combine spices and sugar
  6. Roll out dough until about 1cm thick, brush melted butter over dough and sprinkle with spice mixture
  7. Roll the dough into a cylinder, then cut lengthways with a knife
  8. Twist sections around each other, then form into a circle
  9. Place on a baking tray, and bake for 5 minutes at 200 degrees, before lowering temperature to 180 degrees and continuing to cook for another 25-30 minutes until browned on top
  10. Eat it smothered in butter 😀

 

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Easter Cake (a.k.a brownie cake with nutella icing filled with white chocolate buttercream)

This week was chocolate week for my uni’s baking club. So of course I had to make my easter cake 😀

Now, I’m not going to lie, this cake is rich. But this cake is also good, all the different flavours (of chocolate) really work well together. But it’s easter time! If you can’t eat a large amount of chocolate now – when can you?

Easter Cake
Print Recipe 

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 65g flour
  • optional: 50g chopped nut (I omitted because I am always worried about putting nuts in food that I’m sharing)

White Chocolate Buttercream Filling
(exactly the same as this recipe from Comfortably Domestic, just a half recipe, but you should really check out her blog if the rest of her recipes are as good as this buttercream. Because this buttercream is really really good. I’ve copy-pasted the recipe here for ease of use)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 85g white chocolate
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Nutella ganache

  • equal parts nutella and cream (I used one small nutella jar)

Method:

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Butter and line a 20-25cm cake tin
  3. Heat 175g chocolate, butter and sugar until melted and well combined, leave to cool
  4. Whisk egg yolks into chocolate mixture
  5. Add flour, nuts, and remaining chocolate (chopped)
  6. Whisk egg white until soft peaks form
  7. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture
  8. Pour into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes (until crusty on top – but be careful as it will burn very quickly if you leave it in too long)
  9. You can actually serve this cake just dusted with icing sugar, and it’s perfectly delicious, however, if you want to ice and fill it, read on

White chocolate butter cream
(From Comfortably Domestic)

  1. Melt white chocolate, set aside to cool
  2. Sift salt and sugar and add to butter, then cream until white and fluffy
  3. Pour in cream while mixer is on low, add vanilla
  4. Fold in white chocolate
  5. Beat icing on medium high for about 3 minutes

Nutella Ganache

  1. Put ingredients in saucepan
  2. Heat on low heat until ingredients are melted and well combined
  3. Allow to cool before using

Cut the finished cake in half

Which is easier said than done – but this can be fixed!

I cannot express in words how fluffy and creamy and delicious the buttercream was

Re-assemble your cake

And it’s easily patched up with a bit of buttercream 🙂

Now for the ganache – get jar of nutella (or 1 cup of nutella)

Put nutella in saucepan

Fill empty nutella jar with cream (or use 1 cup cream)

Now for the fun bit – applying the ganache

Then decorating is all that’s needed

The only pictures I have it cut are from my iPhone, because I didn’t have my camera at uni :/ but here it is

What are you making this easter? 🙂

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Chocolate tofu tart

Another experiment using my healthy chocolate moose as a base, for my little brother’s party

 

While these may be much prettier than my previous attempt, I made them using milk chocolate rather than dark (in fear that the crowd would not share my love of it) and it was not as delicious.

They did still all get eaten though (with a little help from me), and it will always be worth checking out the original recipe.

 

Posted in Dessert, Pudding, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cupcakes

This is another one of my “old standard” recipes that I made for my brother’s party on the weekend. Because everybody needs a good cupcake recipe 🙂

Cupcakes seem to have become a bit of a “thing” in the last couple of years around where I live – with cupcake stalls popping up everywhere. Now, as beautiful as those cupcakes are, I find them almost universally disappointing. These cupcakes, however, never disappoint.

And they’re usually a lot more beautiful than this too – my hand slipped when I was adding the food dye so not only is the icing crazy-blue, but it made it all a bit runny, so I didn’t get my usual fluffy piles of icing. They were still all eaten in the first hour of the party though – so it didn’t alter their deliciousness.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 100g butter
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Icing

  • 100g butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/4 milk
  • food dye

Method:

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Line cupcake pan
  3. Cream butter and sugar
  4. Add eggs one by one, beat until just combined
  5. Add flour and milk in alternate batches and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  7. Cool on wire rack

Icing

  1. Beat butter until very pale
  2. Gradually add icing sugar while beating
  3. Add milk and dye and beat until well combined and desired colour

These classic vanilla cupcakes will always be my favourite type of cupcakes 🙂 what is your favourite kind of cupcake?

 

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Roast Vegetable, Pinenut and Goat’s Fetta Pizza

(Today’s guest post – from my Mum!)

While my daughter provided the sweet treats for her brother’s party yesterday I decided to make pizzas. He thought his friends would like Margherita or simple Salami and Olive I decided that I would make something a bit more interesting as well – after all I was eating Pizza for tea too.

I had some Goat’s Fetta in the fridge that noone was eating and thought of a favourite rissotto recipe of mine that has roast pumpkin, pinenuts and feta in it.  I decided to put those three ingredients in my pizza.

I had some baby eggplants in the fridge and a red capsicum and decided they would add colour, flavour and substance to my pizza.  The final ingredient was some sliced, cooked potato – but if I made it again I would leave that out (as I have done in the recipe below).  It didn’t add anything to the flavour and the other vegetables made it filling enought.

I diced the pumpkin and chopped the eggplant but left the capsicum whole and put them in the oven on 230C for about half an hour, turning them once.  By that time the capsicum’s skin was bursting and the veges were soft and cool.

I peeled the skin off the capsicum and cut it into strips and then assembled the pizza, starting with some bottled italian tomato sauce and a sprinkle of italian herbs. Then potato, pumpkin, eggplant, capsicum and topping it off with blobs of goat’s fetta and some fresh basil leaves.

The final product was good – or so I thought. My son’s friends, as predicted like the more traditional pizzas I made, leaving plenty of this one for me!

Next time I think I will omit the potato and add more herbs and perhaps some fresh chilli to give it a bit more zing!

Roast Vegetable, Pinenut and Goat’s Fetta Pizza

Ingredients:

  • wholemeal pitta bread for pizza base
  • bottled italian tomato sauce
  • italian dried herb mix
  • butternut pumpkin
  • baby lebanese eggplants
  • red capsicum
  • Goat’s Fetta cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Large (mild) red chilli (optional)

Method:

  • Dice the pumpkin and cut the eggplant in half lengthways.
  • Coat pumpkin, eggplant and capsicum in olive oil and place in the oven at 230C.  Check and turn after 20 minutes and then remove when nicely cooked.
  • Put the capsicum in a plastic bag to steam and cool down.  When cool enough to touch remove the skin and cut into strips.
  • Spread about 2 tablespoons of italian tomato sauce onto the pitta and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of italian herbs.
  • Arrange the other ingredients on top of the pizza, finishing with the goat’s cheese and some fresh basil leaves.
  • Place on a pizza stone or tray in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until the base is nice and crispy, the cheese is oozy and the pine nuts are starting to brown.
  • Remove from the oven – enjoy!
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My Brownies

My little brother had a party this weekend, which gave me a chance to try out a couple of my “old standard” baking recipes in the new oven 😀

These are my brownies I’ve made a thousand times. And I don’t have very many good photos of them because they got eaten too fast. Which just gives you an indication of how good they are.

Now I have been at work all day and I’m too tired to write you a long speil about why you should make these. You shouldn’t need a speil about why you should make brownies.

Brownies are good.

Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter
  • 2 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups assorted add ins (this time I used white chocolate chips and mini marshmellows)
  • 4 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees
  2. Butter a 9″x13″ baking dish. With baking paper too. Do this well. Trust me, learn from my previous mistakes.
  3. Melt butter over low heat
  4. Stir in sugar and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring until well combined (but do not let boil!!)
  5. Pour into a large mixing bowl and mix in cocoa, eggs, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract until well combined
  6. Stir in flour and add ins
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester in the minute comes out mostly clean, the centre is moist but cooked, and the edges are set
  8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack

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Baking for my brother

My brother is having a party tomorrow night. So of course – it’s an excuse for me to spend the night baking 😀

Recipes will be up in the next couple of days – they’re some of my old standards :-). But I thought I’d just give you a taste of things to come.

What are some of your standard recipes?

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