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.

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

It feels like it has been awhile since I have made something truly decadent.  When searching for a recipe to rectify this, there is no better book to turn to than ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.  This is now the second recipe I have made from this book, where she suggests leaving the cake for a day or so for the flavours to develop (see lemon and almond cake), and while this is VERY frustrating for me – I like the instant gratification baking brings, it it truly worth waiting!  This cake is extremely moist, and although I used a mixture of milk and dark chocolate to make up the 100g required, it was still very rich.
I highly recommend putting the cake tin on another tray, as even though I used the cake tin suggested, it still leaked over the sides…. and yes, I will admit to eating the overflowed cake pieces!

Chocolatey Goodness x

Chocolatey Goodness x

225g soft unsalted butter

375g dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g dark chocolate – melted

200g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250ml boiling water

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees and fully line a 23 x 13 x7cm loaf tin.

* Cream the butter and sugar, then gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating together well

* Fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to over beat

* Gradually add the flour, alternating with the boiling water which you need to add the bicarb soda to – the batter will be quite runny

* Pour into the lined tin – it’s also a good idea to place tin on a baking tray lined with foil/baking paper as there will be drips!

* Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down oven to 170 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.  When you test the cake it will still be quite moist, so a skewer won’t come out completely clean

* Leave cake in the tin to completely cool before turning out.  It can even be left for a day or so as the flavour will improve.  Also don’t worry – the middle of the cake will sink, as it’s so moist, this just adds to it’s charm!

Throwback Thursday – Wholemeal Mocha Cake

I’m still enjoying making the old recipes from my Nan’s McAlpins cookbook.  The recipes are pretty basic, and they stick to tried and true flavours and techniques.  When I saw this recipe, I thought it was a winner before I had even tasted it!  It goes without saying that a coffee and a piece of cake go together – so why not combine the two?  The addition of chocolate icing literally tops off the flavour of the cake, and I love the walnuts too.  Before I started making the recipes from this book, I’d never used coffee essence before in my baking.  Whilst it did give this cake a good flavour, next time I think I will substitute the essence for an espresso shot…  or maybe two!

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

 

6oz Wholemeal self raising flour

pinch of salt

3oz butter

4oz caster sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 dessert spoon coffee essence

walnuts to decorate

* Sift flour & salt

* Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs gradually

* Mix in sifted ingredients alternatively with milk and coffee essence

* Pour into a greased and lined 20cm tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)  for 20 – 25 minutes.

* When cake has cooled, top with a simple chocolate icing and decorate with walnuts if you wish.

Throwback Thursday – Apricot Biscuits

Growing up we had a huge apricot tree in our backyard.  Every summer it would be laden with fruit, which as kids we took for granted and would turn our nose up the fresh fruit -instead we found it more fun to try and hit the unripened fruit over the road with our tennis rackets… that’s another story though! When we were really young it provided shade for our cubby house, this was then replaced by a treehouse when we became older, and we used to spend hours amongst the leaves having all sorts of adventures.  A few years ago Mum told me the sad news that they were going to have to pull down the tree, whilst she had tried her best to save it through many years of drought, it had taken it’s toll.  A new one was planted in it’s place and has since started to provide us with fruit (in much smaller quantities).

Mum would spend hours in the hot kitchen making huge batches of apricot jam that we would then devour throughout the year.  I know that I am biased, but Mum’s jam is the BEST, I won’t ever buy apricot jam from the supermarket as it’s just not the same.  She even blends it for me as I don’t like it to be too lumpy!  Any time a family member is making the trip up to Brisbane, she will always check if I need any jam or sauce (her homemade sauce is awesome too).

So when I saw a recipe in my McAlpins book for Apricot biscuits, it was a no brainer that I was going to give them a go. I was quite generous with the jam, going with three tablespoons instead of the 2 teaspoons indicated.  This made my biscuits very sweet, but no too overpowering.  You could certainly taste the apricot in them – which can never be a bad thing.  They were quite flat, maybe this was because of my changes to the recipe, but they still tasted nice.  For half of the batch, I added 1/4 cup of coconut which I thought really went well with the apricot flavour.  Overall they did taste good, I probably wouldn’t make them again, but I did enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Sweet sugary goodness

Sweet sugary goodness

4 oz caster sugar

3 oz butter

1 egg

2 teaspoons apricot jam

4 oz self raising flour – sifted

* Cream butter and sugar together, add egg and then jam and mix well

* Add flour and beat well

* Drop onto a greased tray using a teaspoon, allowing room to spread

* Bake in a moderate oven for 7 minutes, or until golden.

* Allow to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Throwback Thursday – Orange and Sultana Cake

This week’s trip down memory lane is a SUPER quick and easy orange and sultana cake.  After a week of Liam deciding he doesn’t want to sleep in his big boy bed (in reality it’s still his cot, just with one side rail removed) and the subsequent crankiness and tantrums, I was after a recipe that wouldn’t take up too much time.

I find that most of the McAlpins cakes require creaming. This one is different, all the ingredients are just popped in together, mix, and you are all done.  It certainly isn’t the best cake I’ve ever made. But for little time and ingredients it needs, it will do the job for a quick arvo tea.

 

1 heaped cup self raising flour

1 cup castor sugar

Juice & rind of 1 orange made up to 1/2 a cup by adding milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 egg

1/2 cup sultanas

 

* Place all ingredients together in a bowl and mix for 3 minutes

* Pour into greased cake tin (I used a loaf tin) and bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes

That is seriously all there is to it!!

Super simple

Super simple

Throwback Thursday – Peanut Butter Scrolls

I chose this recipe as I thought it was an odd combination of ingredients and I was curious as to how it would work. My attention was also grabbed by the ‘Economical’ comment next to the recipe heading. They turned out better than expected, and were also a hit with my two biggest critics Scott and Liam.

Please click here for link to metric conversion table

Original Recipe

Original Recipe

Peanut Scrolls

6 oz (1 1/2 teacups) self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 oz butter or margarine

2 tablespoon of sugar

3 tablespoons of milk

Peanut Butter – no amount specified

2 oz raisins

  • Sift flour and salt.
  • Rub in butter and 1 dessertspoon of peanut butter.
  • Add sugar, mix into a firm dough with the milk (I found it easiest to use my hands towards the end)
  • Roll out thinly, between two sheets of baking paper into an oblong shape
  • Spread with peanut butter
Peanut Butter - yum

Peanut Butter – yum

  • Cut raisins into small pieces and sprinkle over
  • Roll up tightly, wrap in glad wrap and put in fridge or freezer until firm
My roll looked a bit dodgy

My roll looked a bit dodgy

  • Cut into thin slices
The dough should be quite firm to cut through

The dough should be quite firm to cut through

  • Place onto greased tray and bake in a moderate over for 10 – 15 minutes (I baked these for 12 minutes on 160 degrees in a fan forced oven).
Enjoy!

Enjoy!