Eggless Banana and Blueberry Cake

26 Sep
I had no eggs the other day and some bananas that were getting pretty squishy so I thought it best to try and make an egg-less banana cake.  Basic ingredients, chuck in some blueberries, spice (I also added strawberries that needed using up, but I think raspberries would be better) and you’ve got a lovely, moist cake.
Banana and blueberry cake.

Banana and blueberry cake.

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Non Traditional Paella

17 Jul

I didn’t intend to go to Spain ever, but I was dragged along to Valencia, Barcelona and then to Madrid by an ex boyfriend and I’m so glad that I was.

In Valencia I first tried deep fried baby octopus, pulpo, in Madrid I had a beautiful platter of cheeses, seafood and cured meats and in Barcelona I had an amazing paella.

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Emily’s Strawberry Shortcake

5 Jul

My first guest blog/recipe comes from Emily Hendren-Allwright and is perfect for this time of year when ripe British strawberries are coming into their own.  It makes a great alternative to scones or sponges and I’ll be trying it out when I get back to England.

Strawberry Shortcake

The British do wonderful cakes, with loads of cream and jam, but I don’t often see strawberry shortcake. In America, it’s one of the high points of summer. A lot of people buy little ready-made sponge cakes in the supermarket that are specially marketed for strawberry shortcake, but to get the proper texture, you really have to make them yourself. It’s somewhere between a scone and a cake, a rich, crumbly, eggy bite.

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My Famous Chocolate Orange Brownies

1 Jun

This is the one that most people ask me about.  It’s gooey, rich and full of flavour.  I started off with this Nigel Slater recipe and decided I could make it better…

From this...

From this…

...to this!

…to this!

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Triple Ginger Sponge Cake

1 Jun

A ginger cake is good, a double ginger cake is better, but a triple ginger cake is fantastic. It can be served warm or cold and fits just as well with tea on a summer afternoon as with an autumn evening by the fire.  And it doesn’t need icing.

 

Triple Ginger Cake

Triple Ginger Cake

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Chocolate Banana Cake with Caramel Sauce

1 Jun

Chocolate Banana Cake

I adapted this recipe from one I learnt in primary school. I decided to combine it with a caramel sauce and there are some optional extras you can add in if you want to.

Ingredients:

For the cake

• 250g/9oz plain flour

• 25g/1oz cocoa powder

• 1tsp baking powder

• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

• Pinch of salt

• 200g/7oz golden caster sugar

• 2 or 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (if you like a very banana flavour add the third, otherwise stick to two)

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 125g/4 ½ oz butter, melted

Extras:

• 1 tsp cinnamon powder

• 75g milk chocolate chips.

For the caramel sauce

• 250g caster sugar

• 142ml double cream

• 50g butter

• 2tbsp water

 

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon, if using, into a large bowl. Stir until well combined.

3. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, stir in the beaten egg and melted butter.

4. Fold the bananas into the flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into a loaf tin.

5. Bake for 50-60 mins or until the cake is risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 mins.

6. Whilst the cake is baking begin to make the caramel. Tip the sugar into a heavy based pan, stir in the water and place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

7. Turn up the heat and bubble for 4-5 mins until you have a caramel.

8. Remove from the heat, carefully stir in the cream and butter until you have a smooth sauce.

9. When the cake has cooled, pour the caramel sauce over the cake, serve warm.

A Simple Tale of Brioche and Goat’s Cheese Salads…

3 Feb

The first tasting

My first experience of brioche was on a ferry to Normandy with my Mum and her friend Linda about 6 years ago.  We were travelling down to stay with Richard, Sue and Hannah who had moved there from East Anglia, we were going for a Morris Dancing holiday.  Mum was driving us and Linda had been put in charge of the picnic for the journey.  She had nipped into some shop I’d never heard of – Aldi – and picked up some apples, fruit juice, a big bag of cooked prawns that we would have to peel, a freshly baked baguette, an avocado and a bag of chocolate chip brioche.