Banana and Coconut Fruit Cake

This is my definition of fruit cake so you won’t find any raisins or sultanas: I don’t like them! Fruit cakes were always an issue for me, would be rude to refuse when offered but I just couldn’t eat them….until I came across this one: it had sultanas when I first tried it but the cake itself was so moist!

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Ingredients:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 150g soft butter
  • 150g mixed dried fruit: I used dried cherries, chopped, blueberries and cranberries
  • 1 large, very ripe, banana, chopped
  • 50ml honey
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 150ml milk
  • 50ml cream (if available, otherwise milk)
  • 1 tsp extract of vanilla
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 20cm/ 8″ round cake tin
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, coconut, sugar and vanilla
  • Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Stir in the fruits till well blended and add the honey
  • Place the bicarbonate of soda in a jug and mix with 2 tbsp of the milk. Stir in the rest of the milk and cream. Add extract
  • Add in the vinegar and stir just once. It will froth up. Pour quickly onto the dry mix and mix with a wooden spoon
  • Stir until it looks blended to a medium-stiff consistency: add either a little milk or coconut if not
  • Spoon into the tin and bake for about 55mn: well risen, golden and inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Leave in the tin to go cold

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Note:

It is best done a day in advance and it will keep for up to a week, if it lasts that long….

 

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Cardamom & Orange Cake with a Pine Nuts Streusel

I love the smell of cardamom, ground or pods, and I use it quite liberally in curries etc… but I’ve always fancied trying it in cakes… so here it is: it has a strong distinctive flavour and the orange comes through first

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Ingredients for the Streusel:

  • 70g plain flour
  • 60g pine nuts (¾ coarsely chopped)
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch ground vanilla
  • 50g butter, softened

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ scant tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
  • 120g melted and cooled butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml milk
  • 110ml strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preparation for the streusel:

  • Toss all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon
  • Add the butter and, using your fingers, mix together until you get a crumbly mixture, of different sizes. Set aside

Preparation for the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/180°fan/ Gas 5 and prepare a 20cm/ 8″ round cake tin. Place it on a baking tray
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cardamom and coffee powder
  • In a smaller bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers until the sugar is well infused
  • Mix it in with the dry ingredients and blend well
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in the smaller bowl and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir gently and only until the batter is evenly blended
  • Scrape the batter
  • into the prepared tin and top with an even layer of the streusel. Pat gently into the batter
  • Bake for about 40mn: the cake well risen, golden crumbs and clean skewer from the centre
  • Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool

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Apricot Spiced Crumble Cake

Go with what the season has to offer and if you’ve bought more apricots than you can possibly eat, try this! This easy cake didn’t last 24hrs!

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Ingredients:

  • 180g plain flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mango powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • ¼heaped tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1½ cup chopped fresh apricots (about 7)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 125ml melted butter
  • 60ml (small pot) plain yoghurt ( used 0%)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumble topping:

  • 100g flour
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 75g butter, softened

Preparation:

  • Prepare the crumble first by combining the flour with the sugar and the butter with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 20cm/ 8″ round cake tin
  • Mix together all the dry ingredients ( flour through to Cardamom) in a large bowl
  • Add the apricots, eggs, butter, yoghurt and vanilla. Mix until well combined

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  • Pour into the tin and smooth over with a spatula
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with the crumble
  • Bake for 45 to 50mn, until skewer comes out clean

 

Notes:

  1. Originally, vegetable oil was used but my #1 son, John couldn’t get enough of this cake so as I had to make it again, I used melted butter instead as I prefer the taste of it: hands down, the buttered version is much nicer, even the texture of the batter was “cakier”….
  2. This crumble is heavier than my usual so don’t be surprised if it sinks a little during the cooking as mine did but the cake looked scrummier in the process!

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Banana Cake

This is a “time honoured”, handed down recipe which was given to me by my late Mother-in-law, my very first banana cake! And it never fails!

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I will post it as it was written down for me, but I will put in brackets my tiny alterations… You might wonder why separate the eggs and whip the whites, I’ve never dared to do otherwise, that’s why!

Ingredients:

  • 4oz / 115g butter, softened
  • 4oz / 115g caster sugar { 75g light brown sugar}
  • 2 eggs, separated and whites whipped stiff
  • 3 small ripe bananas, mashed {2 medium}
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml milk
  • 1tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 8oz / 225g self raising flour, sifted

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a loaf tin
  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, 1 yolk, ½ the whites etc…
  • Add bananas and mix well
  • In another smaller bowl, dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk
  • Add to the mixture, alternatively with and starting / finishing with the flour
  • Pour into the prepared tin
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 to 50mn until a skewer comes out clean
  • Turn onto a wire rack to cool
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar

 

Thank you Diana,   RIP       img064

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

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!

Peach and Pear Cake

It is that time of the year when peaches are everywhere…. we love them but sometimes we don’t eat them quick enough! I’ve baked this cake several times and it always delivers. It is very versatile and could be adapted to use other fruits. I’ve made it with peaches only (6). Hope you like it!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup/ 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup/125ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup/ 125ml apple sauce
  • 1 cup/ 110g flour
  • 1 cup/ 110g Wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 4 peaches and 2 small pears, peeled and diced

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 190C/ 170 fan/ Gas 5. Grease and flour a 28cm/ 11″ ring tube springform pan
  • In large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, flour, salt, cinnamon, bicarbonate soda and fruit. Mix thoroughly by hand
  • Pour into the prepared pan (I sprinkled some sugar drops) and bake for 35 to 40mn, until a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool in the pan for 10mn before transferring onto a baking tray

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