Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I was never the biggest fan of banana bread, or bananas for that matter, until I found this recipe. I’ve made a few changes to it over the years, but now I think it is perfect!

It is fair to say that I have a few hang-ups regarding bananas, as I love artificial banana flavoured things (Beacon’s Fruit Salad sweets come to mind) but I don’t love bananas themselves and the idea of a warm banana freaks me out! They’re okay when eaten slightly green, but after that they just become a slimy mess with an overpowering taste. So I made this recipe with two ripe bananas, not overripe, and I the end result just has a hint of banana.

 

This is definitely a recipe to save for the next time you miss the three seconds that bananas are perfect to eat!

Ingredients:

  • 220g  flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 100g milk or dark chocolate slab, chopped
  • 100g salted butter, room temp (I usually pop it in the microwave for a few secs)
  • 120g  sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 80 ml milk

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and prepare a baking dish or loaf tin if you have one.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and chocolate in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla essence to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
  5. Mash the bananas until it is fairly smooth. I find a fork usually does the job.
  6. Add half the egg mixture and the milk to the mixture and beat until combined.
  7. Gently fold in the other half of the egg mixture and the bananas.
  8. Bake in the oven for roughly 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Best enjoyed hot!
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Lemon Drizzle Cake

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I had never actually had a lemon drizzle cake before, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but from my husband feedback I’ll chalk it up as a big success. I had to share this, as it is one of those super quick recipes that you could easily whip up on a whim. I also appreciated the fact that I already had all the ingredients in my pantry.

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Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Margarine
  • 180 ml Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50 ml Lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 310 ml Flour
  • 2 tsp Bakingpowder
  • 100 ml Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180*C and prepare a baking tray or mini-loaf tray by spraying with Spray ‘n Cook.
  2. Beat the margarine until smooth and gradually add the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Sift together the flour and bakingpowder.
  4. Add half the egg mixture and the milk to the flour and start mixing it in.
  5. Fold in the rest of the egg mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into your baking tray and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on whether you are making one large tray or mini-loaves.

Lemon Drizzle:

This could easily be adjusted according to your taste, but I find that a good dose of lemon juice really cuts through the sweetness creating the perfect combination.

Ingredients:

  • 185 ml Icing Sugar
  • 50 ml Lemon Juice (Can adjust according to taste)
  • Zest of half a lemon

Method:

  1. Sift the icing sugar and then add all the lemon juice.
  2. Slowly add a teaspoon of boiling water at a time until you reach the perfect consistency.
  3. Stir in the lemon zest and drizzle over the loaves.

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Chocolate Macarons

wpid-wp-1420535635406.jpegBoth my cousin and I love baking, so on a recent visit we decided to attempt macarons. She had never had much success with them and I could also do with some practice. Despite the fact that we learned the importance of the bicarb, our somewhat sad looking macarons tasted heavenly! DSC_7540small

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 90 g almond powder, sifted
  • 100 g Castor sugar
  • 10 g high quality cocoa powder
  • Pinch of Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g Castor Sugar

Filling

  • 55 g butter, room temperature
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 20 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract

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Method

Macarons

  1. Prepare your baking tray. Line it with baking paper and spray it with non-stick spray.
  2. Sift together the almond meal, cocoa powder and icing sugar, at least twice.
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then add the Bicarbonate soda and castor sugar.
  4. Beat until hard peaks form and then gently fold in the almond meal and icing sugar mixture as well as your flavouring and colourant.
  5. Pipe out a few round macaron shells on your prepared tray. Try spacing it equally and to stick to one size. We pencilled out some circles on the other side of the paper which made it easier.
  6. Give the baking tray a gentle whack on the kitchen counter underneath all rows of macarons.
  7. Set the oven to 160C and leave the macarons outside whilst the oven preheats, for about half an hour.
  8. Bake for 6 min on one side and turn around before baking for another 6 min on the other side.
  9. Place on wire rack to cool before filling it.

Filling:

  1. Beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder together.
  2. Add the eggs one by one.
  3. Melt the chocolate and add it to the mixture.
  4. Beat until it becomes light and fuffy.
  5. Finally, assemble your macaron shells by piping a fair amount of icing on one side of the macaron. There should be more than enough to go around and have a few taste testers!
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