Banana and chocolate spice cake

Banana and chocolate spice cake
I wonder if there’s anything else you should do with overripe bananas other than put them in a cake? There probably is, but baking a cake is always going to be my first choice. I ended up making this banana and chocolate spice cake after ending up with three very ripe bananas earlier in the week, and it’s so good!

The recipe is from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, which I picked up for mere pennies in a sale a couple of months ago. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from the book, and it went like a dream.

Banana and chocolate spice cake
The cake is basically your typical banana cake with spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. The recipe says you can also add a handful of chopped nuts, but I opted for some chopped milk chocolate instead.

I also substituted the creme fraiche with soured cream, as that was all I had in (and I know from experience that soured cream is a truly magical cake ingredient!), as well as swapping the light muscovado sugar for light brown sugar.

I had to leave the cake in the oven for close to an hour rather than 45 minutes as called for in the recipe, but it was perfectly baked when it did come out.

Banana and chocolate spice cake
Believe me when I say that this is a truly scrumptious cake. The spices and banana go together perfectly (especially the cardamom) and the pockets of chocolate take the cake to the next level.

I’ve mostly been having this cold, but last night I tried it warm with ice cream and that was delicious too! I do have one (nice) problem though: it’s such a big cake that I’m struggling to get through it all by myself. I would recommend baking this when you have a crowd to feed!

The recipe

An adapted version can be found here. To make the same version as mine, make the following substitutions:

  • Swap the golden caster sugar with normal caster sugar
  • Swap the spelt flour with plain flour
  • Swap the unsalted butter for salted butter
  • Swap the creme fraiche for soured cream
  • Swap the nuts for 65g of chopped milk chocolate
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Oat, blueberry and honey muffins

Oat, blueberry and honey muffinsNow this is a lovely recipe for when you want something that’s sweet, (sort of) good for you and quick to make. These oat, blueberry and honey muffins are really easy to whip up and are delicious – plus there’s no butter in these, just oil and milk instead, so you can fool yourself into thinking you can have more than just one!

Oat, blueberry and honey muffins
The recipe is much like most other muffin recipes – make up the dry and wet mixes, then carefully combine them without overmixing. The original recipe called for raisins, but I replaced these with blueberries as I happened to have some in the fridge.

Oat, blueberry and honey muffins
I also increased the amount of sugar in the mix, as blueberries aren’t quite as sweet as raisins. You end up with a rather wet mix, but that’s apparently what it should be like! Cue lots of messiness as I attempted to spoon the mix into the muffin cases…

Oat, blueberry and honey muffins
The muffins baked in 20 minutes, but I think I would give them a couple of minutes longer next time, due to the extra moisture provided by the fresh fruit. Still, these are scrumptious – not too sweet and lovely and purple inside!

Oat, blueberry and honey muffins
The original recipe says to have these for lunch with cheese or on their own with some butter and extra honey, both of which I might try over the next couple of days. If there are any left after today, that is!

Oat, blueberry and honey muffins
The recipe

Makes 12 muffins

  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 100g blueberries
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200ml milk
  • 75ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan 180C. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases, or butter the holes directly.
  2. Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and blueberries together.
  3. In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, oil, sugar and honey.
  4. Add the wet mix to the flour mix and stir until just combined. The mix should be fairly runny.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden on top.
  6. Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve alone, with cheese or buttered with honey.

Lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam

Lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam
Well, it’s been a little while since my last post. I haven’t really had the time to bake much recently; I went to Paris the other week (it was amazing) but, unfortunately, my new job didn’t quite work out, so I’m now a freelance copywriter and on the hunt for a new permanent role. It’s all been a bit unexpected and fairly stressful, but I’m past the worst now – so much so that I made this rather lovely lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam earlier in the week!

The recipe is by Chetna Makan of GBBO fame. You may remember that I’m a huge fan of hers and that I successfully made her masala chai baklava a few months ago. This traybake was a tad easier to make and I got to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes in the process – throwing way more coconut into the mix than the recipe calls for.

Lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam
The recipe is really easy to follow. Just make a basic cake mix, stir lemon zest and dessicated coconut into it, bake and then top the cooled cake with jam and more dessicated coconut. The recipe says to use raspberry jam, which is the classic choice when it comes to coconut, but I didn’t have any and used strawberry jam instead.

Amazingly for me, the cake baked perfectly in the time specified by the recipe. It’s a miracle! I’m a fairly impatient person and found it difficult waiting for the cake to cool so I could top it and eat it, but I just about managed it. The resulting cake was delicious – the sponge itself wasn’t overly sweet, but the jam balanced that out and the tang of the lemon zest was beautiful. Just what I needed after an insane few weeks!

Lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam
I would heartily recommend this cake if you’re looking for something really easy to knock up for teatime. I can imagine that it would be a lovely pudding served warm with custard, too!

Lemon and coconut cake with strawberry jam
The recipe

Can be found on the Food Network website here.