Banana Cake with Streusel Topping

I have quite a few recipes for banana cakes as my boys love bananas in cake as do I because it enables me to reduce the fat amount in the recipe! This is a new recipe I was trying out, with a few alterations…

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs

Streusel Topping:

  • 30g sugar
  • 75g flour
  • 25g soft butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 80g chocolate chips (optional, could be raisins or nuts etc)
  • 1 tbsp  cold water

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 190C/ 170Fan/ Gas 5, 10mn before baking and grease or line a 20cm/ 8″ round cake tin
  • Mash 2 bananas in a small bowl together with the lemon juice and the tbsp of sugar. Set aside
  • Gently heat the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until it is just melted. Transfer into a bowl and leave to cool slightly
  • Sift the flour, soda and cinnamon into a large bowl and make a well in the centre
  • Beat the eggs into the cooled butter/sugar mixture, one at a time until well combined then pour into the well of flour and mix thoroughly by hand
  • Gently stir in the mashed banana mixture.
  • Prepare the streusel topping by mixing all the ingredients together
  • Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared tin. Thinly slice the 3rd banana and arrange over the half. Sprinkle a third of the streusel mixture on top

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  • Cover with the remaining batter and top with the rest of the streusel topping
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50mn, until well risen and a toothpick comes out clean
  • Allow to cool completely in the tin before turning out. Sprinkle icing sugar over the top
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Carrot Cake

I got the recipe from one of my favourite Australian cooking magazines (hence the measuring cups but I converted for ease), adapted and perfected it through the years… It even won a first in a village competition. Best of all, it is actually what my boys request the most!

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Ingredients:

  • 185g soft, unsalted butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 240g grated carrots, mixed with the zest and 1tbsp of the juice of a citrus fruit {normally I would use an orange, but today all I had was a grapefruit}
  • 25g dessicated coconut
  • 120g plain flour
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preparation:

  • Grate the carrots and mix in with the zest and juice. Set aside
  • Preheat oven to 180C/ 160Fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a 20cm/ 8″ round springform cake tin
  • Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer in a small bowl until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined
  • Transfer into a larger bowl and stir in by hands carrots (with juice) and coconut
  • Sift in all the dry ingredients and lightly combine until just mixed
  • Spread into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 50mn, until it feels firm and springy when you press in the centre and the sides are detached
  • Cool in the tin for 5mn before transferring to a cooling rack

Icing:

For a simple icing, I sift some icing sugar and mix it in with a little milk to form a smooth and shiny paste. As I had some shredded carrots left, I added it to the paste for effect!

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Gâteau aux Carottes

C’est une recette d’un de mes livres Australiens favoris que j’ai adaptée et perfectionnée au fil des années et qui m’a même remportée une première place dans un concours de village…

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Ingrédients:

  • 185g beurre mou
  • 200g sucre (je mélange toujours blanc et roux)
  • 3 œufs
  • 240g carottes râpées (3 ou 4) + zeste et 1 c. à s. du jus d’un agrume {à l’origine j’utilisais une orange, mais à défaut, comme aujourd’hui, un pamplemousse }
  • 25g noix de coco râpée
  • 120g farine fluide
  • 120g farine avec levure incorporée
  • 1/2 c. à c. mélange 5 épices
  • 1 c. à c. cannelle
  • 1/4 c. à c. de noix de muscade
  • 1/4 c. à c. de poudre de vanille
  • 1 c. à c. bicarbonate de soude
  • 1/2 c. à c. levure chimique
  • 1/8 c. à c. sel

Préparation:

  • Râper les carottes et infuser avec le zeste et le jus
  • Préchauffer le four à 180C/ 160Fan/ Gaz 4 et beurrez un moule à manqué de 20cm de diamètre
  • Battre au fouet électrique le beurre et le sucre dans un petit bol jusqu’à l’obtention d’un mélange crémeux
  • Y ajouter les œufs, un à la fois
  • Transférer dans un bol plus large et incorporer à la main les carottes (avec le jus) et la noix de coco
  • Tamiser au-dessus tout le reste des ingrédients et mélanger légèrement jusqu’ à incorporation
  • Mettre dans le moule et bien étaler
  • Mettre au four 45 à 50mn: les bords sont détachés et le centre est ferme mais rebondit au toucher
  • Laisser refroidir 5mn dans le moule avant de transférer sur une grille de refroidissement

Glaçage:

Pour un glaçage simple, je tamise du sucre glace que je mélange avec un tout petit peu de lait jusqu’à l’obtention d’une pâte lisse. Comme il me restait des carottes, je les y ai rajoutée pour effet!

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Apple Braided Chocolate Brioche

I cheated a little on this one: not that I can’t do my own brioche bread but I was more interested in the braiding side of the recipe and needed apples to be used so I went for a brioche flour mix for bread maker, and just added some chocolate chips to it. Whilst that was going in the bread maker, I chopped up 3 apples and mixed a little lemon juice and some cinnamon sugar… Now for the real fun, in photos!

Roll it into an oblong shape about 30cm/ 12" long and fill with apples. Do this 4 times

Roll it into an oblong shape about 30cm/ 12″ long and fill with apples. Do this 4 times

To start the braiding, align 2 vertically and 2 horizontally as shown

To start the braiding, align 2 vertically and 2 horizontally as shown. And do not make the same mistake as I did: do it on the baking tray directly!!!! Not easy to transfer!

Starting with the 2 at the bottom, left goes over right and tuck in

Starting with the 2 at the bottom, left goes over right and tuck in. Once braided, cover with a greased plastic film and leave in a warm place to double in size for about 30 to 45mn. Brush some egg wash

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/ 170Fan/ Gas 5 for about 35mn. Let it cool on the tray on top of the wire rack for half an hour. Remove from tray and let it cool completely

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/ 170Fan/ Gas 5 for about 35mn. Let it cool on the tray on top of the wire rack for half an hour. Remove from tray and let it cool completely

Ready to serve: Enjoy!

Ready to serve: Enjoy!

Tarte aux prunes

C’est la saison des fruits en abondance! Il y a deux jours, nous avons été invités à passer l’après-midi chez des amis et dans leur vaste jardin des pruniers prêts pour une bonne récolte… Le résultat valait bien un petit effort! 

 

Avant....

Avant….

.... après

…. après

Flourless Double Chocolate Brownies

This is the first of a recurrent theme in this house: Brownies, always a winner, so watch out for some more soon!

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Ingredients:

  • 175g chocolate (I used dark), broken into pieces
  • 115g unsalted butter, soft
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 60ml apple sauce (again, used to reduced butter amount)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 150g ground almond
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 150g chocolate roughly chopped, white and dark

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 170C/ 150Fan/ Gas 3 and grease or line a 30×20 (12″x8″) cake tin [ I actually use a “brownie pan” that’s how obsessed we are with them!]
  • Melt the chocolate pieces with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
  • As soon as it’s melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave for 10mn
  • Whisk in the apple puree and the eggs until the mixture has thickened
  • Add the espresso powder then sift in the cocoa and baking powder.
  • Add the almond, vanillas and chopped up chocolates and carefully mix together
  • Pour the mixture in the tin, smooth over and tap gently to remove any air bubbles
  • Bake in the oven for about 50mn until risen, slightly crusty on top but still soft underneath
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin then remove and wrap. Store overnight
  • Cut into 12 pieces. Drizzle with icing or dust with chocolate powder

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Duffins

They seem to be all the rage these days so here is my version!

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Ingredients:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 60g unsalted butter, soft
  • 60ml apple sauce
  • 100g sugar (I like to mix 2/3 white- 1/3 brown)
  • 1 large egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml buttermilk

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and lightly grease or line with cups a 12-hole standard muffin tin
  • Sieve the flour into a bowl, then add the baking powder, soda, salt and ground vanilla (separate corners)

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  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter with the apple sauce then cream together with the sugar with an electric whisk  (it might look curdled, not to worry)

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  • Continue to whisk adding the egg, whites and vanilla extract until well combined (about 2mn)

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  • Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until incorporated
  • Stir in half of the buttermilk, followed by another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk and finish with the last of the flour
  • Spoon about 2 tbsp of the batter at the bottom of each muffin hole ( I actually used my piping bag with a large nozzle, much easier)
  • Put 1 good tsp of your favourite spread (my boys love chocolate) and cover with batter

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  • It makes 12 and the holes should be over ¾ full
  • Bake for 15 to 20mn (lightly golden and clean toothpick)
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack

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  • As soon as they are cool enough to handle, it is time to roll them into either cinnamon sugar or chocolate powder

001 I experimented with putting Maltesers in the centre

  • I personally use an homemade water spray before rolling but you can go the full fat version and melt some butter….

Notes:

  1. You can also use either just self-raising wholemeal flour or a mix with plain wholemeal flour

DUFFINS

  2. Never have buttermilk at home, it is too hard to find in France so I make my own before I start: mix 250ml milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white wine vinegar and leave for 5 or 10mn

3.Made some more lately: you could if preferred just bake the batter plain and insert the filling once cool enough to do so

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Biscuits aux pépites de chocolat et flocons d’avoine

Omettez les pépites de chocolat pour une version plus saine ou substituez à votre goût!

OATS COOKIES

Ingrédients:

  • 160g farine fluide
  • 100g flocons d’avoine
  • 3/4 c. à c. levure chimique
  • 1/2 c. à c. bicarbonate de soude
  • 1/2 c. à c. sel
  • 100g sucre
  • 35g cassonade (ou sucre brun)
  • 50g beurre doux et mou
  • 1 c. à s. généreuse de compote de pomme (sans sucre, ce rajout me permet de réduire la quantité de beurre)
  • 1 1/2 c. à c. d’extrait de vanille
  • 1 gros œuf
  • 50g pépites de chocolat (ou autres)

Préparation:

  • Préchauffer le four à 180C/ 160Fan/ Gaz 4
  • Mélanger la farine avec les 4 ingrédients suivant dans un bol
  • Dans un bol plus grand, amalgamer d’abord la pomme et le beurre puis y ajouter les sucres et battre jusqu’à l’obtention d’un mélange crémeux
  • Continuer de battre en ajoutant l’œuf et la vanille
  • Peu à peu, verser le mélange de farine en battant à petite vitesse ou à la main
  • Incorporer les pépites
  • A l’aide d’une cuillère (j’utilise mes cuillères à glace) déposer la pâte sur une plaque préalablement préparée (parchemin) : 24 (plus ou moins) sur 2 plaques, une pour le four et l’autre au congélateur, telle quelle.
  • Enfourner 10 à 12mn et sortir dès que les bords brunissent. Laisser refroidir 2mn puis transferer sur une grille de refroidissement
     

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Notes:

  1. Aujourd’hui, j’ai voulu expérimenter en ajoutant du cacao en poudre (de pâtisserie): j’ai donc réduit ma quantité de farine dans le mélange initial de 10g et divisé le tout en 1 tier/ 2 tiers. Dans le premier tier, j’ai mélangé 1 petite c. à s. de cacao et dans le deuxième 1 cuillère de farine
  2. J’essaye de réduire à chaque fois la quantité de sucre. Cette fois-ci, la balance était parfaite dans les cookies au chocolat (peut être dû au goût amer du cacao) alors que j’ai trouvé ceux à la vanille encore trop sucrés. A vous de juger!

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Chocolate Chips Oats Cookies

Only simple wholesome ingredients needed here   002  as you can see. I always use reduced fat butter, that’s the one that seems to work best for me, I even make my own Vanilla extract, which I will introduce into this blog at a later date, never fear! These are a favourite of my boys, they call them “the healthy cookies” but today I thought I would add some cocoa powder in the mix….

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Ingredients:

  • 150g plain flour (+1 tbsp for later)
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g white sugar
  • 35g brown sugar
  • 50g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp apple puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 scant tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g chocolate chips (or cranberries, or raisins, or you favourite chopped nuts, possibilities are endless!)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/ 160fan/ Gas 4
  • In a bowl, mix the flour (150g) with the next 4 ingredients
  • In another large bowl, mix the apple puree (used to reduce the amount of butter) with the butter then cream together with the sugars
  • Add the vanilla and the egg and beat until well blended
  • Gradually, add the flour mixture, mixing at low speed or by hand until just combined
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • I divided the mixture into 1/3 in which I added the cocoa powder slowly ( to taste, I don’t like it too strong) and 2/3 in which went the last of the flour

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  • Spoon or scoop ( I love my ice creams scoopers! perfect for the job!) the dough on prepared baking trays, you should have enough for 2 trays: 1, well spaced, goes straight into the oven and the over in the freezer, ready for those emergencies!

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  • Bake for 10 to 12mn until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Let them cool for 2mn then transfer onto a cooling rack

Notes:

  1. I have made these several times and reduced the sugar amounts each time: today, the chocolate ones were fantastic and it might be due to the bitterness of the cocoa, perfect balance. Whereas the plain vanilla ones still tasted too sweet to my palate… to be continued….
  2. They can come out differently, sometimes like today, other times a little more flat but they still taste the same, YummY!!!

OATS COOKIES