Sunday, 2 October 2016

Banana and chocolate breakfast muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (you can use wholewheat to make these more healthy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (optional)
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt (I used creme fraiche)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt (and cocoa powder if you are using it).
  2. Add bananas, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, milk and yogurt to a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until well combined, smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Muffins are best served warm and even better the next day.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Blackberry red velvet cupcakes

After a glut of blackberries I made some cupcakes today to take to friends.

Start with the cakes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Take 150g of blackberries and crush roughly with a fork.

Then melt together 100g butter and 100g milk chocolate.

Finally put 225g self-raising flour, 175g caster sugar, 2tbsp cocoa powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

Add 2 eggs and then the chocolate mix and blackberries.

Add 100ml boiling water and some food dye (red/purple to give it a deeper hue) and mix.

Then divide between 12 cupcake cakes.

Bake for about 24 minutes- check when a tooth pick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely. For the icing press about 150g blackberries through a seive to get a puree. Discard what is left.

Then beat together 500g icing sugar, 100g butter and 1tsp vanilla extract. Then add the puree and beat again. If you need a bit more icing sugar add this to make it stiffer.

Pipe it onto the cakes and add a blackberry to finish.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Healthier(!) chocolate and banana muffins

Our youngest loves her chocolate chip muffins but also baking so I said we would make some healthier ones. Sorry didn't take photos. With kids I find it easier to do measuring with cups rather than metric so this recipe has those measurements. The good thing about these is they freeze well and a blitz in the microwave and they taste fresh from the oven.

This recipe uses oil and yoghurt rather than butter which gives it a lighter and moister texture.

Begin by mixing three quarters of a cup of packed soft brown sugar with a cup of oats. Add 2 mashed over-ripe bananas, an egg, three quarters of a cup (around 160ml) greek yoghurt and a quarter of a cup of vegetable oil. Mix. 

Add to this a mix of a cup of wholewheat s-r flour (you can use normal s-r if you don't have this) and a quarter of a cup of cocoa powder, a tsp of baking powder and half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda. Mix it all together

Finally add 100g of dark chocolate chips (or you can smash up a bar of dark chocolate while in its pack with a rolling pin) and mix this in.

Share between 12 muffin tins in a muffin pan. It is a thick mix so a good one for kids to do since it doesn't slop everywhere!

Bake at 180 degrees C for about 17-20 minutes until a squewer comes outs clean.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Cauliflower cheese (gluten free and low carb)

This is a great recipe if you are entertaining for anyone that is either wanting a low carb diet or is gluten free. It's a very rich cheese sauce to replace a normal white sauce (that would need flour) and is really delicious. Though it is higher in calories since it is high in fat content but if you are on a low carb diet this won't be an issue (and if you are not then just have it as a treat!)

Chop up two small cauliflowers.

Boil then in salted water for about 5 minutes so they are still crisp.

Meanwhile make the sauce- heat about 250ml of double cream in a pan until simmering.

Then add about 100g cream cheese and a tsp of dijon mustard.

Stir this until melted.

Then add about a cup of grated cheese.

Then stir this through off the heat. 

Put the cooked cauliflower into an oven dish that has been sprayed with oil.

Then cover with the sauce and mix and top with some more grated cheese.

Finally bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or place under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately.

To keep it low carb/gluten free serve with a meat dish (roast chicke, steak, grilled salmon etc) and either a green salad or some wilted kale and spinach works well with this.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Quadruple tiered chocolate cake

Made this for school for the Easter celebrations.

You can use any chocolate sponge recipe. You can either make one large cake and cut into four or two medium ones and cut each in half. Or you can make 4 smaller ones which is what I did here.

Begin making the cakes. The two I like for tiers are either a chocolate fudge cake or a yoghurt and oil based cake that is very moist. For the chocolate fudge (which is what I used above) you mix together 100g cocoa powder and 12 tbsp of boiling water. Add 6 large eggs, 100ml milk, 350g s-r flour, 200g soft butter and 400g caster sugar until well blended. Divide between either four greased 20cm sandwich tins or 2 deep 20cm cake tins.

For the yoghurt and oil cake the recipe is as follows. Since it replaces the butter with the yoghurt and oil it is a very light cake.

Being mixing 500ml of sunflower oil with 300g caster sugar.

Then blend in 450ml of yoghurt.

Add to this 4 eggs, 450g of self raising flour, 4 tsps baking powder, 4 tsps of vanilla extract and 3 tbsp of cocoa powder (you can omit the cocoa if you want a plain rather than chocolate sponge).

Whisk til combined,

Line four sandwich 20cm tins (or two 20cm cake tins) and divide the mix.

Bake at 160 degrees for about 35 mins til risen and cooked through.

Allow to cool. Meanwhile make the icing. You want something fluffy and yet firm enough to pipe. I've been using this butter icing made with double cream. You can use usual butter icing. For the one I made I used royal icing powder to give a stiffer finish.

Cream 175g butter for about 7 minutes until it is creamy and fluffy and nearly white. Then beat in 300g icing sugar for about 3 minutes and then 1 tsp vanilla extract and then add in about 175ml double of double cream and beat for another 5 minutes. You can play around with the amount of cream- the less you add the stiffer it will be- the more you add the fluffier. This is enough for 24 cupcakes but you make need more for this cake depending on the size of your piping nozzle. 

You can also use a pot of double cream whipped together with a cup of icing sugar for some of the middle layers. Or you can use a chocolate fondant (100g of chocolate and 60g double cream melted together) for some of the layers.

Put one cooled sponge on a plate or board (use some cream to hold it) and pipe over the icing. Put a sponge on the top and repeat. The top layer you want to have the neatest icing since that it the one that you can see. Since it was Easter I decorated with different size eggs and some edible gold lustre and purple glitter but you can decorate however you wish.


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Baking

Just a few photos of some Easter bakes. The big chocolate cake was a four tier simple chocolate sponge cake layered with butter cream icing (made with double cream- recipe here). I also use some royal icing powder in the icing for the top to get a harder finish. Decorate with chocolate eggs, fondant icing bunny ears and glitter! Don't cover the cupcakes with bunny ears since they will sweat and start to melt!

Double cream butter icing

I've been trying out different icings and this is one that I really like.

Cream 175g butter for about 7 minutes until it is creamy and fluffy and nearly white. Then beat in 300g icing sugar for about 3 minutes and then 1 tsp vanilla extract and then add in about 175ml double of double cream and beat for another 5 minutes. You can play around with the amount of cream- the less you add the stiffer it will be- the more you add the fluffier.

This is the result- very nice for piping or spreading on cakes.

I used it on some Easter cupcakes.


Not sure what to call these but they are a marble mix of blondies and brownies. There is a recipe for blondies here and for brownies here.

Dot batches of each into a baking tray

Bake as normal (slightly lower and longer than you would for plain brownies).