what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the tag “cake”

Don’t waste bananas

News today suggests people throw away slightly bruised bananas and that’s bad for lots of reasons. Guardian article here.

If you want to stop wasting bananas but only have one occasionally, then pop it in the freezer until you’ve got a enough to make something. It doesn’t matter if the outside goes all black and the inside is squishy, just defrost them when you want to use them.

Here are some of my blogs about banana recipes, but there’s plenty more things out there to try.

Banana 1 – Butterscotch Banana Cake

Banana 2 – Banana Bread with Spelt Flour

Banana 3 – Dark Banana Ginger Cake


Butterscotch banana cake

My baking mojo seems to have put in appearance recently and I’m trying out a few things I’ve not done before. So from Short and Sweet and appearing here in a slightly different version, this morning I’ve made butterscotch banana cake. The new thing for me was the caramel, which I feel is a bit daunting. But it’s not, really, it’s not, just keep an eye on it. I wasn’t too sure how large to leave the banana pieces so didn’t let it cook too long. It looked a bit bare when I took it out of the oven so I’ve topped it with some lemon icing, just lemon juice and icing sugar. Very moist, not soggy or stodgy.

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Chocolate and almond fudge cake

Recipe from Dan’ Lepard’s Short and Sweet, also available here, but use 3 eggs not 4. A flour free recipe,

A cake that is mostly made in a saucepan goes slightly against the grain, but makes it all pretty easy. You don’t need an electric mixer for the egg white whipping bit, a firm arm with a hand whisk will do the job quite nicely.

I found it took a lot longer to bake than the 40 minutes suggested, and I gave it 55 in the end, but it might have needed a bit more. My eggs were from a mixed box, not the medium ones stated, so maybe that affected the cooking time.

It does shrink down quite a bit after baking and I didn’t use the cream topping suggested. Here’s some pics, and it was rather tasty.

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Cardamom Coffee Cake – post-Easter cake

I like chocolate cake at least as much as the next person, but after the Easter goodies have gone it can be time for a change from chocolate and Simnel cake. I had a small window of opportunity to bake this afternoon while I was making pizza dough and hit upon the Hairy Biker’s Cardamom Coffee Cake, from the Bakeation book and their visit to Norway. They didn’t make it on the show, so I can’t give you a link to the recipe. There may be others who have repeated it but I don’t do that.

So we have a simple cake mix, with a slight twist which is handy if your butter is cold, you melt the butter before adding it to a mixture of eggs and sugar that are beaten with a hand whisk. In goes flour, cardamom, baking powder and milk. Then it’s topped off with flaked almonds and demerara sugar. Ever so easy! The result is very light and fluffy and I must say delicious.

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Fruit and nut gingerbread

Another weekend quicky here, again from Pat Ring’s charity book . Done while I was half doing other things and watching Red Nose Day Bake-Off so nothing to complicated to do. Got to admire the celebs that stand up and do this and loved Jo Brand having a sit down part way through.

Basically a one pot recipe. Into a saucepan go butter, muscovado sugar, treacle and golden syrup. When melted we add plain flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda, one egg, a grated pear and apple, and some chopped walnuts. All nice and gloopy and into the oven for about 40 minutes (I made it 50), and topped off with lemon icing. Next time I’d probably add some more spices, but the result is a very moist cake and quite sticky on the top if you don’t like icing.

I am a lazy person so I really like using cake tin liners as they making getting larger cakes out in one piece very easy.



shameless plug

Not for me, but for a new cake recipe book I’ve just bought. If you’re looking for something that has traditional style recipes with a bit of a twist and that you can guarantee will work, look no further than Cake by Pat Ring. I’ve already marked up some that I want to try and I’ll write them up here as I do them. There’s also a few gluten free recipes too, which are always handy. It’s a neat little spiral bound book, always a good thing for me as it will lie nice and flat

Pat has been baking for a long time, over 30 years, and has supplied tea-shops and more fund-raising cake stalls than most of us can imagine. She’s put this book together as she wanted to get her recipes out into the world and also do some fund-raising for Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care.

These are her words:

Finally – my recipe book of all my cakes baked over the past 38 years (!) and a few new ones too – has arrived. It has taken me the past 10 months to produce this book and I am sure you will be as pleased with it as I am – if you buy a copy or more!
The recipes are clearly and simply written so that anyone will be able to turn out some gorgeous cakes for any occasion – family, friends, charity sales, whatever. They range from the quick and easy ones to those that require a little more time. I have ensured that a minimum number of different tins are used and there are sections on freezing, microwaving and adapting the recipes for special diets too.
The idea came to me last winter after we had had an especially successful Charity event (as well as working at the Hospice, I co-ordinate all baking for our events) and people were suggesting I type up my recipes and sell them for 50p a copy. Over Christmas, I decided I could go one better, and at my time of life I could let all my recipes go, but in a good cause. which Grove House certainly is. We provide 24 hour Hospice at Home care, Day Hospice care and a range of support sevices for local patients (and their families too) suffering from life limiting illnesses.
The book is priced at £10 AND EVERY PENNY WILL BE GOING TO THE HOSPICE. I was fortunate enough to secure the production costs of the book from our local Councillors. The postage cost is £2 extra. If you would like to make an order, *and they will make great Christmas presents too), please send me a cheque for £12 made payable to IRGH with name, address and tel number on the back, and post to Pat Ring, Pinewood, The Common, Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, Herts AL5 3NT – OR YOU CAN PAY VIA BANK TRANSFER TO BARCLAYS A/C 10523208, SORT 20-97-09, A/C IAIN RENNIE GROVE HOUSE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE DOING THIS, SO I CAN LET THE OFFICE KNOW, AND I CAN POST THE BOOK OUT TO YOU. MY CONTACT DETAILS ARE:

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, and I wish you Happy Baking! (and let me know if you want messages, signed copies etc) Pat x

Launching LakesBakes


I’ve decided to practise what I preach and try and sell some baked goods to local people. I’ve made my facebook business page, so if there’s anyone out there reading this, please take a look and give it a ‘like’.

I’m sorry, you can only order if you’re local enough to collect or for me to deliver.

I have a blog to write later about Christmas pudding, but you’ll have to wait for that while I do some other chores.

cakes and cookies – in the name of charity

It’s coming to the end of the school year and making cakes for charity seems to be the order of the day. Now I don’t mind this as a fundraiser, so long as they don’t charge less than it costs me to make them. Last month, school had a Father’s Day Fayre which demanded baking, so I produced some of Dan Lepard’s gingerbread wafers, some of the Hairy Biker’s lemon and cardomon cookies and a batch of Bake Off Chocolate Crackles (which every man and his dog who blogs about baking seems to have made, so I won’t give you a link – they all put the recipe up if you care to Google, which, obviously I don’t). Two of each in a bag with a nice label, bingo.  Actually the other thing I object to is the mummies that supply a box of stuff baked by the local Co-op convenience store, still in the box so I know you didn’t make it. Really my dears if you can’t do it, or don’t know how, let those of us who do and can get on with the job!

This month it was the turn of the cub pack to do the tea tent at the town’s carnival yesterday. Didn’t much feel in the mood for it, but managed to come up with one of Dan’s dark banana and ginger cakes from the Guardian with a bit of lemon icing on the top to pretty it up. [Note to readers I used 3 large eggs and that looked like enough]. Woefully easy this one and almost feels like it could do you good! Accompanied by some white chocolate and cranberry cookies from the Sainsbury Magazine. As they don’t give you the recipe for that online so far as I can see it is:

125g soft unsalted butter, 125g caster sugar, 2tbsp condensed milk, 175g self-raising flour, 100g white choc in chunks, 40g dried cranberries.

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the condensed milk, work in the flour, then the chocolate and cranberries. Divide into 50g blobs for big ones, 25 g for small ones, flatten a bit (12 or 24 cookies). Bake at 150C for 25 mins.

A tin of condensed milk goes a long way, and I have found the wretched stuff doesn’t freeze, but can at least be kept in icecube trays in the freezer. A very useful recipe if you’ve got no eggs but need some cookies or something sweet.

For home baking we have also had cake, and another recipe that uses the condensed milk.

Dan’s Brown sugar chocolate cake from Short and Sweet. There’s a version from 2005 on the Gruniad website, but the Short and Sweet version is slightly different.  Having had a quick browse today I see that some people have found the Short and Sweet version challenging but I found it easy and it came out looking like it should. And after all that description and no pics, here’s two of the one that I made.

Being a bit old school I am often sceptical of cakes that move too far away from a basic fat, sugar, flour and flavouring mix, and this one does have some faffing about with melting dark chocolate, adding water, and glycerine(!), and I’ve had some bad experiences with the Hummingbird cake book, sadly for my readers not during the life of this blog, maybe I’ll go back there and we can relive those horrors. Anyway, all was good with that one. I diverted from Dan’s frosting suggestion and just bashed up some butter, icing sugar and cocoa.

And yesterday I’ve made some more bits to take to my auntie (Little Red Riding Hood me!) and she’s going to be on the receiving end of some double choc cookies as per the Sainsbury’s recipe above – 125g flour, 50g cocoa and 100g white chunks:

A marmalade cake from the Bake Off Book. You can Google the recipe if you want, other’s have reproduced it and it’s not for me to do that for you here. I am pleased with the outcome, and also pleased that I used eggs provided by one of my work colleagues who keeps a few chickens. I don’t know what she feeds them on but the yolks always come out very yellow and that helps to colour the sponge nicely. A simple butter sponge with spoons of home made marmalade stirred into it, topped with more marmalade and some icing. 

And I’ve made some strawberry jam, despite haranguing Olly over on http://breadandbikes.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/bread-maker-jam/ about his use of the breadmachine to make jam. Boys and toys! Me, I used a saucepan and a wooden spoon.

And finally she gets a small loaf of 50:50 white and einkorn bread. No pics of that, it’s a small brown loaf! But the trick with that one has been to use Dan’s white bread sponge method over night to get the yeast going in the white flour, add the einkorn this morning, do the kneading stuff and then once it’s in the pans rising, go for a run. Eight miles and a bit – and being an idiot going along the route of the MK HM but thankfully off the course before they passed by, and the loaves are ready for the oven. My oven has an auto timer thing so I can decide when it comes on so it is ready for when I get back. Flour, slash and steam. In they go, 20 mins at 240C while I have a shower, turn down the oven and another 25 mins.

Right that’s me done for, only the lunch to finish cooking and then I’m done. Off to track the Tour de France (go Wiggins – a man who could do with a bit of cake IMHO) next and not watching Wimbledon (Roger Federer looking for his 8th title, no chance Murray), or Silverstone (makes me fall asleep and I’ve had enough of the helicopters going too and fro already today).


coffee and ricotta marbled cake

Seems to be a week for cake this week, good job I’ve run 27 miles including a race, biked 37 miles and been swimming and walked loads.

Knocked this one up yesterday as the chocolate cake had all gone. Note to Dan’s recipe book publishers – more pictures please!

A Dan Lepard recipe from Short and Sweet.

Contains: coffee beans, butter, caster sugar, plain flour, ricotta, eggs, baking powder and marsala wine (I didn’t have that so used some madeira instead). Topped off with coffee water icing.

Things I’d do differently next time – finer ground coffee and may buy some marsala, and a bit less topping!

Waiting for the next lot of Mellow Baker’s recipes to come online and doing lots of other things. Still making bread for daily use but that’s a bit boring!

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