Friday, May 28, 2010

Super moist banana & almond cake

I was looking for a recipe to use up my ripened banana's, and ground almonds, and came across this. It looked simple enough, and i had the correct pan, so one fine Sunday morning i attempted to bake it. I didnt have any almonds so didnt top the cake with this, but i can imagine what a great crunch it would add.

The result: one very nutty and banana tasting cake :P

Looking back though, i should of maybe dusted some icing sugar on top to make it abit more pretty, and served it with a dollop of cream or something as it was slightly dry on its own (much like a plain cake, needing some icing/frosting of some sort?)

here's the recipe :O)


230g almond meal
2 eggs
50g brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
250g overripe bananas, peeled (approx 3 medium-sized fruit)
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Icing sugar,
to serve Natural yoghurt or creme fraiche, to serve 1.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.

Grease a 22cm fluted tart tin with removable base.

Take a large square of baking paper and moisten (give the whole thing a quick dip in some water, then carefully wring it out), then use it to line the tart tin (base and sides).

Beat eggs and sugar for 10 mins or until pale and fluffy, then stir through the ground almonds and baking powder.

Use a fork to mash the bananas, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Pour this into the almond mixture then stir to just combine.

Pour into tin and sprinkle over sliced almonds to cover the surface.

Bake 45 mins to an hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave in tin on a wire rack till completely cooled.

Just before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche (if you want to be naughty) or natural yoghurt (if you want to be good)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spinach, rocket, roast pumpkin & pan fried haloumi salad with a honey & basalmic vinegar dressing

I had tried this salad at Gemelle not long ago, and really fell in love with the flavours. I had never thought to put honey into a salad dressing, especially not with basalmic vinegar..!

So i went home & googled a recipe & found one on (link here).

I've made it twice now, and some tips are:

- make sure the pumpkin is scattered over one layer and not bunched up (so they dont get mushed together)

- make sure pumpkin is well cooled before mixing with salad leaves (otherwise you'll get wilted leafs)

- toss leaves with dressing first, before adding pumpkin & haloumi so that leaves are completely coated so you get full flavor in each bite!

I used a mixed baby spinach & rocket salad mix, but you can use any salad leaves that you want, its the yummy dressing that makes it sooooooo good.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Milo babycakes with Nutella Frosting


Today, my beautiful little sister.. would've turned 17. I wish she were here, to celebrate, to eat the cupcakes i made for her :"(

She drank a warm cup of milo every morning, and i still had the milo tin that we used ..

I got the recipe from here, and made up some nutella frosting from here.


115g SF Flour
140g Caster Sugar
1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
Pinch salt
40g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
120 ml Whole Milk
3 tablespoons Milo
2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
1 Egg


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with patty cases.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until everything is combined.
In a jug, stir the Milo into the milk until the milk turns chocolate coloured. Add 60ml of the milk mixture to the batter and whisk until just incorporated.
Lightly beat the egg, the pour the egg and remaining milk into the batter and beat until mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mix into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back when touched and a skewer comes out clean.
Leave cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutella Frosting Ingredients:

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup nutella
8 ounces powdered sugar
2 tablespoons (ish) of milk or cream

Nutella Frosting Directions:
-Cream together the butter and nutella until blended.
-Add the powdered sugar gradually until ingredients are combined.
-Mix on a high speed, adding in milk or cream (2 tablespoons, more or less) until frosting is smooth and creamy.

I miss you & love you always & forever xoxo from your big sister, Betty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chocolate-less Brownies

I had come across a recipe for brownies - which only used cocoa powder (no chocolate needed). So whilst i am in my "try to use up all my baking ingredients in my pantry before they go off" phase, this recipe was perfect for using up my cocoa powder :O)

I found this recipe here, but you can also find it here, here & here.

I couldn't find my brownie pan & panicked (this is after i started mixing the ingredients together) so all i could find to use was a loaf tin... so i frantically jumped online to look for forums/blogs/anything that would tell me the baking time of a brownie if it was baked in a loaf tin instead (thanks Lorraine for replying to my email!! you were the first person i thought to ask hehe).

Then i found this link, and sighed a great sigh of relief hehe..

These brownies were soo quick & easy to make and bake, were superbly dense, and i had positive comments from everyone who tried them :O)

Cocoa Brownies

150g (5oz) unsalted butter
1 1/4C (255g or 9oz) sugar
3/4C (80g or 2 7/8 oz) cocoa powder
pinch salt
1t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2C (75g or 2 1/2oz) plain flour
1C chopped nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Line a loaf tin 24cm x 12cm (approx 9 1/2in x 5in) with baking paper or foil so that it overlaps the sides.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from the heat and stir through sugar. Add cocoa powder and stir until well combined and any lumps are gone.

Add vanilla, salt and eggs and mix well. Gently fold through flour until only just combined – don’t over mix. Stir through nuts if using then pour into the loaf tin.

Bake for 50 minutes to and hour. Or until the top feels just set and a skewer inserted into the middle emerges slightly moist.

Cool in the tin then either cut or refrigerate overnight and cut the next day.