Caramel and Banana Layer Cake

Being the party animals that we are, we decided to ask a couple of friends over to our place for New Years Eve.  Even though we were all still getting over the excess of food and goodies we had been consuming during the past week, I still wanting to make something yummy – and a little naughty for our New Years dessert. I’ve made this cake a few times now and the recipe is from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2.  This time I decided to add banana to the layers in the attempt to bring a little bit of goodness to an otherwise sweet and yummy dessert.

It was a lovely night, spent with some great friends.  Alas our toddlers partied more than we did, with the adults happy to sit back and watch them expend what seemed to be a never ending supply of energy…..  If only they could have passed some on to us, we were all in bed by 11pm!

I hope you are all having a great start to the year

xx

caramel and banana layer cake

1 1/4 cups plain flour

6 eggs

3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

125g butter – melted

2 cups thickened cream

vanilla essence

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 banana – sliced thinly

caramel sauce – cooled

Caramel Sauce

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup of single or pouring cream (I’ve also used thickened cream in the past and it has still turned out fine).

 

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line and grease a 18cm square tin

– Sift the flour three times and put aside.

– Put the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat together for 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer until mixture is pale and thick and has tripled in size

– Sift flour over the mixture and fold together gently, then fold in the butter.

– Using a spoon, put mixture into tin, and bake for 25 minutes.

– While cake is baking, make caramel sauce by stirring together brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase the heat and simmer for around 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Let the sauce cool slightly in the saucepan, before transferring to another container and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool completely

– Cool cake in tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a cake cooling rack – leave until completely cooled before slicing cake in half

– Beat together cream, drop of vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar until cream is whipped

– Spread half of cake with cream, cover with half of the banana slices, and half of the caramel sauce

– Carefully place top layer onto the cake and repeat.

– I like to leave this cake for an hour or so in the fridge, then remove around 15minutes prior to serving.  It’s best eaten the day of/day after making.

Carrot, Banana and Coconut Muffins

These muffins are jam packed full of yummy fruit, veggies and seeds and are also quite filling – the perfect snack to stop any over indulging at your next Christmas party!  This recipe is from ‘Wholefoods for Children’ by Jude Belreau. I am LOVING this book, it is full of great recipes not only for babies and kids, but the big kids too!  This recipe made around 24 muffins, so I stashed half of them in the freezer, and they have defrosted really well.

Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, these were really quick and easy to make (with a little helper), and you can always substitute regular flour for spelt flour and cow’s milk for coconut milk if you don’t have any. The original recipe also suggested sultanas, but I prefer currants.

Carrot Banana & Coconut Muffins

130g white spelt flour

165g wholemeal spelt flour

90g rapadura sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

45g desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon quinoa flakes

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts roughly chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds roughly ground

1/4 cup pepitas roughly ground

1 banana cut into small pieces

1/2 cup rasins

90g unsalted butter melted and cooled

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake papers

* Place the flours, sugar, baking powered, cinnamon, coconut, quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds into a bowl and whisk together to combine.

* Add the carrot, banana and currants and mix through

* Place the butter, egg, coconut milk, yoghurt and vanilla in a bowl and mix until it has just combined

* Add to the dry ingredients and mix through until just combined. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes to absorb some of the liquid, then spoon into muffin pan.

* Bake for approx 20 – 25 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.

Banana and Rolled Oat Muffins

I know there has been an influx of banana recipes lately – but hey when they are just $1.29 a kilo, who isn’t going to buy in bulk?  We again had some bananas which needed to be used up, and I was after a simple recipe Liam could help me with.  Muffins are always great to make with a little helper, there are lots of jobs for them from mixing the ingredients together, to putting the paper cases into the tin – the problem can then be getting them to leave the paper cases in the tin!

For this recipe I turned to taste.com.au.  It’s always such a trap visiting this site, whilst I go there with the best intention of searching for just one recipe, it’s just so easy to get sidetracked and end up with a whole list of things that I want to make (just now after visiting the site for the recipe link, I want to make today’s featured recipe – raspberry, chocolate & almond cake!).

A yummy snack

A yummy snack

It took all of 15 minutes to make these – admittedly it would be a lot quicker without a little helper, but where is the fun in that!  They tasted great, I liked the rolled oats mixed in, next time I think I’d add some chopped walnuts or pecans to give a little extra flavour.  Liam liked them (surprise surprise!) so I’ve stashed a few in the freezer for him.  Alas the next morning when I tried to bribe him with one of these muffins if he would let me cut his hair, he wouldn’t come to the party….

Liam's favourite job!

Liam’s favourite job!

2 cups self raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup plain low fat yoghurt

1/4 cup canola oil

2 bananas mashed

* Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a 12 hole muffin tin

* Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarb soda into a bowl, add the rolled oats and sugar and stir to combine

* Whisk eggs, yoghurt and oil together, add mashed banana and stir to combine

* Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined – mixture will still be lumpy

* Spoon into muffin tin and bake for approx 20 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.

* Leave to cool in cases for 5 minutes and then remove from tin.

** These can also be frozen.

Spelt and honey banana bread with dates and walnuts

After returning from a few days away, we again had a few bananas which were heading towards their use by date.  I found this recipe amongst a pile of pages torn out from magazines, and am unable to tell which mag it is from.

I’ve made a few banana bread recipes in my time, they are so easy to put together and normally look and taste impressive.  I love the addition of walnuts and dates, and I was almost tempted to add shredded coconut but decided against it – will add it next time though.

This had a great consistency and Liam and I shared a piece toasted with fresh banana and honey drizzled on top – YUM!  The rest has already been wrapped up and put into the freezer, it will be perfect for when we need a treat quickly.

spelt banana bread

 

125 g whole spelt flour

125g white spelt flour

75g brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried pitted dates coarsely chopped

1 cup mashed banana (I used the 3 small bananas we had)

90ml vegetable oil

2 eggs lightly whisked

40ml honey

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line the base and sides of a loaf tin (approx 8 x 20cm)

* Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda and cinnamon in a large bowl.

* Add the walnuts and dates and stir together

* Combine the banana, oil, eggs and honey in a bowl, then add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

* Pour into pan and smooth the surface, bake for 35 – 40minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

* Can be served either warm, at room temperature or toasted with butter.  Yum!

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

 

Banana and Blueberry Muffins

In our household milk and bananas seem to disappear into thin air, and every couple of days we need to re-stock.  Somehow a couple of bananas slipped through the cracks and had began to die a slow and smelly death in the fruit bowl.  Looking for a new inspiration, I was flicking through Donna Hay’s Fast and Fresh and decided to adapt her basic muffin recipe.

In an attempt to make these healthier, I decided to cut out the sugar completely and I replaced it with 1/2 a cup of malted rice syrup and omitted the extra honey.  I then added blueberries for some extra sweetness.  To boost the protein content, I added rolled oats, wheat germ, LSA and chia.

Scott wasn’t very impressed with these – he complained they weren’t sweet enough,  I quite liked them though, yes they lacked some sweetness, but I still enjoyed the flavours – and Liam? Well as usual, he was more than happy to be a taste tester and loved them.

I think some further modifications are needed, next time I will use a sugar substitute like stevia in place of the brown sugar, and the malted rice syrup in place of the honey..

Yum!

Yum!

2 Cups plain wholemeal flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup raw sugar (substituted with 1/2 cup of Malted Rice Syrup)

2 tablespoons honey (omitted)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 mashed bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/8 cup LSA

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Place the flour, baking powder and sugar (if using) in a bowl and mix to combine

* In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla (and malted rice syrup if using)

* Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined

* If using, stir through the fruit and other

Throwback Thursday – Tropical Cake

As Summer is creeping up on us (the weather we’ve had this past week makes it feel like it’s already here!), a lot of summer fruits are making their way into our basket.  This week I bought some wonderful looking passionfruit – my first for the season, and it seemed there was no better time to make this Tropical Cake from the McAlpins recipe book.

To date, I have followed the recipes from this book to the letter, resisting the urge to tweak with additional ingredients.  I admit to caving with this cake by adding two of my favourite ingredients – vanilla and coconut, because really you can’t go wrong with these two great flavours?  Let me know what you think!

 

Tropical Cake

 

8 oz self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 oz butter or margarine

6 oz castor sugar

2 eggs

2 passionfruit

1 banana

3 tablespoons of milk

My additions:

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons coconut

 

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Cream butter and sugar, beat eggs in gradually
  • Mix in sifted ingredients alternately with milk
  • Lastly mix in pulp of the passionfruit and banana
  • Turn into a greased tin lined on bottom with paper (I used a 20cm round tin)
  • Bake in a moderate oven 40 – 50 minutes (I baked mine for 35 mins in a 170 degree fan forced oven
  • When cold ice with passionfruit icing and decorate with pieces of cherry

 

Passionfruit Icing

  • Boil the skins of the passionfruit in just a little water for a few minutes. Use some of this liquid to mix the icing sugar and you will get a pale pink icing flavoured with passionfruit

* Sift 4oz icing sugar into a bowl and add liquid gradually (approx 1 tablespoon) to make it the consistency required.

Friday Afternoon Chocolate Goodness – choc chip banana blondies

Yesterday I had a wonderful couple of hours to myself at the hairdresser- well Aiden was with me but he slept the whole time.  Since the past week has been crazier than normal, with broken bones/visitors/cranky toddler and a last minute trip to pack for, I took with me the September issue of Delicious magazine to enjoy in peace.  About a third of the way through I came across this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients to give it a go when I got home.

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

It was fairly quick to put together, and I baked mine for around 40 minutes.  They came out of the oven just as I was about to leave for dinner out with the girls, so I was able to skip buying a caramel sundae on the way home and tried a piece of blondie instead.  The verdict is – they are GREAT!  I tried a middle piece that was gorgeously (not sure if that’s a real word, but it’s an accurate description) soft and fudgey.  The combination of white/dark chocolate, banana and walnuts is sensational.  Given I’d had a relatively high calorie dinner, I skipped the extra drizzle of white chocolate and just sprinkled it with icing sugar.

 

Happy Friday everyone – try these this weekend!

 

100g unsalted butter chopped

250g white chocolate chopped

250g castor sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

2 bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup walnuts chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Icing sugar to serve

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees & grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper
  • Place the butter and 200g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl which is on top of saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let bowl touch the water) and stir until melted
  • Remove from heat
  • Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and stir in sugar, egg, banana and vanilla
  • Sift over flour and baking powder, stir to combine, the fold in the nuts and dark chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35 minutes or until golden, cool completely in pan
  • Melt remaining 50g of white chocolate, cut blondies into squares, dust with icing sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate to serve

choc chip banana blondies1