Monthly Archives: March 2011

Banana & Coconut Cake

This was quite an improptu cake that I put together on Friday night after bringing some over-ripe bananas home from work. It’s based on a recipe from the Nigella Lawson book “How To Be A Domestic Goddess” which is one of my all-time favourite baking books.

Whilst the recipe this is based on is a banana bread, I’d prefer to call this a cake as it’s very moist, crumbley and lighter than a banana bread. You could even try this with muffin cases, I think it’d work really well!

Ingredients

130g Plain Flour
50g Descicated Coconut
180ml Vegetable Oil
1/2tsp Bicarb of Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
150g Soft dark brown sugar
4-5 Small over-ripe bananas
2 medium eggs
100g Sultanas

Preheat the oven to 170ºc (gas mark 3), and line a suitable loaf tin (mine was 9cm x 8cm x 21cm) greased or lined.

I didn’t really follow the preparation guide for the recipe that was loosely based on, so it’s super simple to make. Basically add the dry ingredients into a bowl, that’s your flour, coconut, bicarb and baking powder. Whisk them together to remove any lumps (pro tip, instead of messing around with sieves, just whisk your flour – it does the exact same thing!).

Next, add the sugar and oil to the mixture, and give a good stir with a wooden spoon. Then add your eggs one and time, stirring well after each.

Mush up your bananas in a separate bowl, then add these to the batter mixture and stir well. Finally, add the sultanas and give one final stir.

Pour into your prepared loaf tin and bake for approximately 1hr. To check if it’s cooked insert a skewer into the center, if it comes out clean then you’re good to go!

I thought my batter looked too runny after I’d finished adding the bananas, but when I’d let it have a full hour in the oven the results were fine.

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Colourful Cupcakes

I recently bought some of the concentrated paste food colourings and wanted to experiment with colourful, or rainbow, cupcakes. I’ve never actually made a 100% frosted, actual, factual cupcake before now so this is completely new to me. Here’s my experiment:

I used a basic vanilla cupcake recipe from Joy of Baking, I love that site because most of the recipes are available in both cup measurements and regular old grams and mls, although I do have some cup measures I always tend to bake with real life weights.

After mixing up a batch of the vanilla cupcake batter (minus the lemon zest, I didn’t think this recipe really needed it), I split the mix into 6 different containers and coloured each one with a different tint. The small blue containers were a bargain at £1 for 6, they’re great for jobs like this! In the past I’ve used an array of tupperware for similar purposes.

Then I started spooning a little of the mixture into the cases, about a teaspoon of each colour in each case. It looks like something from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!!

I thought I’d try a marbled one and see how it went. After baking there wasn’t really much difference between the marbled one and the others.

After baking they came out like this, I cut the top off one that had risen to ridiculous proportions. Next time I’ll add a bit less batter in each case!

Looks fucking amazing, right? The lower levels of colour kinda rise up like a volcano during baking, so you get a great colour effect going on!

I frosted them with an uncoloured vanilla frosting, like I said, I’ve never done this before so the frosting is a little slap-dash. I really need some practice using a piping bag!

I love how they look on the stand, the colours show through the paper cases brilliantly… I don’t think I’d bother with decorated cases for these in the future either! Adam got me the stand for my birthday, and this was it’s first use.

Without a case they look great, I was a little worried about the browning on top. In future I think I’ll try and frost over the browning, and maybe find a recipe for a cake that doesn’t brown as much.

I adore these, they were so simple to make really, and just look at the finished article after it’s been cut in half. Amazzzzzing!

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