Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

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ba 22/08/2018

Another ripe banana recipe to add to the repertoire. This one comes in the form of banana bread with a sweet and crunchy cinnamon streusel topping.

Unlike my traditional go-to banana bread recipe, this loaf has Greek yogurt and sunflower oil incorporated as the moist-makers and wholewheat flour and cornflour for texture.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour or more wholewheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour plain or whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf tin.
  2. Whisk together all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle flour, cornflour (or extra flour), cinnamon, baking powder and salt on top. Gently fold in, do not overmix!
  3. For the crumb topping, place the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until crumbs form.
  4. Place the batter in the prepared loaf tin and evenly sprinkle with the crumb topping.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

 

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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ban 21/08/2018

With this spell of hot weather, I just can’t eat my bananas quick enough before they go ripe so I have had to come up with lots of baking banana recipes to put them to good use. First world problems hey?

One of the moistest cakes I’ve ever eaten. Stick-to-the-back of your fork moist. I am normally not a huge icing fan but the cream cheese frosting, both sweet and tangy, takes this cake from good to greatness. This cake packs mega banana flavour. It is very buttery and cakey from creaming the butter and sugars.

This recipe makes loads of frosting. You don’t have to use it all but it is addictive. If you don’t use it all, I suppose you’ll just have to bake another cake and that’s no bad thing.

The banana cake is dense, but not heavy. The crumb is still very soft and this is down to buttermilk, the moist-maker. The cake wouldn’t be what it is without it. I rarely have buttermilk in my fridge, unless buying it for a specific baking recipe so I usually sour whole milk instead. For this recipe, you’ll need 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk. So here’s what I do instead: measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar then add enough whole milk until I reach 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir it around, let it sit for a minute then pour into the batter. To keep the cake extra rich, I do recommend whole milk.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and ½ cups mashed)
  • 3 cups (375g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ cups (360ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) icing sugar, plus an extra ¼ cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 9×13 inch tin.
  2. Make the cake: Mash the bananas with a fork. Set mashed bananas aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until creamed together. Add the eggs and the vanilla and a spoonful of the flour (to stop the batter separating). Beat until combined then add in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps are OK.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminium foil.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of icing sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix together slowly to start with then beat until well combined. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.
  8. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the fridge for 5 days.

Biscoff-stuffed pumpkin mini muffins with cinnamon crunch topping

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bis 20/08/2018

When university exams loom, what better way to procrastinate than with a spot of baking? While they’re in the oven you might possibly be able to fit 5 minutes of revision in for which you must be rewarded with incredible baked goods. The muffins are tender and soft yet still rich and bursting with spiced pumpkin goodness. The cinnamon sugar coating adds a nice crunch to each bite while the Biscoff filling is simply heaven. There are always retakes.

Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (mashed pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup Biscoff spread

Cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

For the muffins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

For the filling:

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of batter into each case. Top with a 1/2 teaspoon of Biscoff. Top with about another 1 teaspoon of batter.
  2. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the batter is set. Let cool.

For the coating:

  1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each muffin into the melted butter then coat in the cinnamon sugar. Serve.

Pull-Apart Bagel Bread

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bbbb 19/08/2018

This pull-apart bread hits the spot. It’s buttery, salty, bagel-y, flaky, cheesy, garlicky, soft in the centre, crisp on the edges and addictive! You’ve been warned.

Unlike a traditional loaf, the dough is rolled out and a cheesy filling is spread on top. The dough is then cut into disks and slotted into a loaf tin to create textured layers of cheesy, doughy goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 and 1/3 cups (290g) plain flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup (70g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Bagel Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried onion powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted

bbb bb

Directions:

  1. Make the dough: Place the yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch. Pour warm milk on top of yeast/sugar. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy after 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, egg, flour, and salt. Mix lightly for 3 minutes. Dough will be soft. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead it for 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour but you want a very soft dough. Shape into a ball.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.
  4.  As the dough rises, prepare the filling and topping in the next steps and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  5. Make the cream cheese filling: In a large bowl, beat all of the filling ingredients together until combined. Cover tightly and set aside until ready to use.
  6. Make the topping: Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Assemble the bread: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. The dough can be any shape, just as long as it’s around 1/4 inch thick. Spread cream cheese filling on top. Using a 3.5 – 4 inch circle cookie cutter, cut into circles. I get about 12 circles. Fold circles in half and line in prepared baking pan, round side up.
  8. Cover cling film and allow to rise once again in a slightly warm environment until puffy, about 45 minutes.
  9. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat oven to 170°C.
  10. Brush dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle bagel seasoning on top.
  11. Bake until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, tent with aluminium foil. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and serve warm.

Double Chocolate Fudge Cake

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choc 2 18/08/2018

This cake is taken from a Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook. It is a double chocolate fudge cake, not because it has two different types of chocolate (even though it does… technically three if you count the cocoa), but because you bake half of the mix first then add the rest at a later stage giving you a double layer of cake and gooey fudge-like deliciousness. But if you think dividing the batter is too much trouble, just bake it all at once. The cake will still be very good.

choc

  • 240g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 265 g dark chocolate (at least 52 % cocoa solids), cut into small pieces
  • 95 g dark chocolate (70 % cocoa solids), cut into small pieces
  • 290 g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • a pinch of salt
  • cocoa for dusting

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C. Grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in a large bowl. Put the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir to mix then bring to the boil over a medium heat. Pour the boiling syrup over the butter and chocolate and stir well until they have melted and you are left with a runny chocolate sauce. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time. Set aside until the mixture comes to room temperature.
  3. Put the egg whites and salt in a large bowl and whisk to a firm, but not too dry meringue. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture, a third at a time.
  4. Pour 800g (about a third) of the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level gently. Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out almost clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  5. Flatten the top of the cake with a palate knife. Don’t worry about breaking the crust. Pour the rest of the batter on top and level the surface again. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake should still have moist crumbs hen checked with a skewer.
  6. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.
  7. The cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for 4 days.