Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Banana Fudge Loaf.

This loaf cake is a staple from my childhood. My mum used to make it very occasionally and it was always a great treat! A word of warning though, it is very rich!
I made this for a party and the whole thing was gone in under 5 minutes. The combination of the bananas and fudge is a real killer and the cake is lovely and moist. A real show stealer for guests. If you've got time you can probably make the icing a bit neater than I did, but you have to be very quick as I found it sets almost immediately so the fudge won't swirl in easily!

Banana Fudge loaf



115g / 4oz spreadable butter
175g/ 6oz soft brown sugar
4 bananas
2 eggs (beaten)
225g / 8oz self raising flour
50g / 2oz glace cherries
115g / 4oz vanilla fudge


115g / 4oz icing sugar
115g / 4oz vanilla fudge (chopped)
2 tsp milk (or more or less for preference)
1-4tbsp warm water

Oven: 160c / gas mark 3

Tin: 900g/ 2lb loaf tin, greased. You can also use a strip of parchment in the bottom and up the sides to make it easier to remove the loaf from the tin.

  • Peel, chop and mash the bananas
  • Roughly chop the cherries
  • chop the fudge, set aside
  • Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl
  • Add all the other main cake ingredients barring the fudge.
  • Mix well with either a wooden spoon of a hand mixer on a low setting
  • Fold the fudge into the mixture
  • Pour into the tin and bake for around 1-1.30 hours depending on your oven.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin, and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  • Once the loaf has cooled, mix the icing sugar with 1tbsp of water at a time until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Melt the fudge over a pan of hot water, stirring.
  • Add the milk to achieve a smooth consistency
  • Pour the icing over the loaf and spread it with the back of a spoon
  • Swirl the melted fudge into the icing (this is harder to get neat than it may at first seem).
  • Make patterns in the fudge with a toothpick if you want!
  • Leave in the fridge or a cool place until the icing sets.
  • Serves 5-15, depending on how greedy your friends are feeling.

Mmmm, look at that slice, lovely and moist and fudgey.
Caution, do not show to any people who may be on a diet. They will not like you.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Golden syrup spice cake +recipe

I had a bottle of golden syrup left over from an experiment, so I thought I'd find something to make with it. So far I've made 2 cakes, and still have half the bottle left over. So I think I'll have to find more recipes to use the rest of it up!
Anyway, the first recipe I tried was one I invented from a different cake base. It turned out alright, but I should probably have used a larger cake tin. As it was, I used a 7.5 inch sandwich tin and it cracked a bit on top. A higher sided tin would probably have been a better idea, but you learn from experience and all that.
So here it is, the recipe for:

Golden syrup spice cake


150g butter
115g brown sugar
180g golden syrup
200g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp nutmeg
2 beaten eggs
400g icing sugar
1 tbsp water

Pre heat oven to gas mark 4

  1. Put the butter, sugar, syrup and water into a saucepan. Gently warm until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl.
  4. Add the liquid mixture and the eggs and beat with an electric whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased or lined cake tin.
  6. Bake for around 45 minutes to an hour. Or until a knife in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  9. Add enough water to make a slightly runny icing. If it's too runny, you can always add more icing sugar.
  10. Pour over the cake and leave to harden. Chill if necessary.

This cake comes out nice and dark and syrupy. I'd definitely recommend using a deeper tin than I did though, if you're going for looks. While mine looked a bit cracked and top heavy, it still tasted great!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Simple Apple crumble recipe + streusel loaf experiment

Apple surfeit? Don't mind if I do. Yes, it is, yet again, a post involving apples (a lot) and cinnamon (a little). Well, in my defense they do taste great together.
So, while I was visiting my parents, I thought I would make my dad an apple streusel cake. But my mother didn't have any small sandwich tins. She did, however, have a 1lb loaf tin. So I thought I'd try using that.
Unfortunately, she also has a fan oven. Mine is gas and old as the earth. So my time conversions were a little off and it got a wee bit burnt on the outside as you can see below. It still tasted good though.

It also tasted pretty damn good served with cream. I may try serving it with ice cream next time.

So, basically, the aforementioned apple streusel cake recipe works well enough in a small loaf tin, but you do need to fudge the cooking times a wee bit.

Anyway, after I had made that, I had some streusel topping and apples left. I didn't want to waste them, so I thought "Ooo. Apple crumble".
Of course I had no recipe, so I just made one up. Below is the basic recipe, but it can generally be adjusted to taste, I imagine.

Basic apple crumble


3 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
handful raisins
1 tbsp brown sugar

Crumble topping:

2 tbsp butter
40g sugar
58g plain flour
(these measurements are approximate. If the crumble is too sticky, add more flour, if it is too dry, add more butter.)

Preheat oven to 180c

  1. Peel, core and slice the apples
  2. Place in a saucepan with the cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar and enough water to cover them.
  3. Cover and stew till soft
  4. While the apples are stewing, rub the flour into the butter until it forms crumbs.
  5. Stir the sugar into the flour mixture
  6. Spoon the apple mixture into a 15cm pyrex dish and cover with the crumble
  7. Sprinkle some extra sugar and cinnamon on top to taste
  8. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until golden brown

This dish is best served warm with either cream or ice cream. As you can see below, it is very popular and when you come back to take a photo of it most of it may have disappeared.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Apple Streusel cake+ recipe

A few days ago, I decided to try out (yet another) apple cake. I do love me some apple cake, yes I do.
Does anything on this blog not have apple and/or cinnamon in it? It would seem not.
Oh well, I hear apples are in this season. Or something.

This recipe originally came from the book 'everyday baking', but as I didn't have a 9 inch cake tin, I halved it and did it in a 6 inch one. I think it came out fine. If you want to make the original size cake just double the recipe and use a 9 inch cake tin.

Apple Streusel cake


58g/2 oz butter
225g cooking apples (about 1)
88g/3 0z self raising flour
1tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
58g/2 0z demerara sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk


58g/2 oz self raising flour
3 tbsp butter
42g/2.5 oz demerara sugar

Greased 6 inch cake tin
Oven pre heated to 180c/350f/G.M4

To make the topping:
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl
  2. Rub in the butter until crumbly
  3. Stir in the sugar
  4. Set aside for later
To make the cake:

  1. Peel, core and slice the apples. You want the slices to be pretty thin.
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture
  5. Fold in half the flour mix
  6. Add the milk and the rest of the flour
  7. Spoon into the tin
  8. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the apple slices
  10. Bake for around 1 hour to 1.5 hours (depending on your oven) or until firm.
  11. Cool in the tin

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

New craft bits!

The local craft shop had a sale on today so I got 3 skeins of embroidery thread and one of tapestry wool all for £2.
The thread is in lovely colours, 1 sort of candy corn like, 1 pumpkin-y and 1 lovely mixed green:

The photos don't show quite how vibrant the colours are, but they are pretty strong.
The tapestry wool is a nice antique red. I'll find something to use it in, I suspect.

I also just got given these charm bags from Japan, which will be great for sending jewelry off in.

Healthy apple muffins + recipe

Recently I decided that I wanted to make some muffins. This would be great, but generally muffins are loaded with calories and fat and I'm trying to eat well.
I found this recipe on LJ's bakebakebake community. It's a pretty healthy and quite cheap apple muffin recipe which I ended up modifying slightly.
One thing to note, is that if you are using a silicone muffin tray, this recipe only just yields 5 nice sized muffins. It may yield more in a metal pan. Or maybe it's just that the apple I used was rather small. I don't know. The muffins came out great though. Heavy and not too sweet. Perfect for breakfast.

Easy apple muffins

  • 1 apple (peeled and grated)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2.5 tablespoons demerera sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 9 tablespoons plain flour (approx)
preheat oven to 170c/325f/GM3

Sift baking powder and flour
Mix apple, egg, sugar and cinnamon. Do not use an electric hand whisk/mixer, a wooden spoon is fine.
Add wet to dry and mix until incorporated. Try not to beat or over mix, it makes the muffins the wrong texture.
Spoon mixture into muffin cups 3/4 full to full depending on the size muffin you want. I filled the cups and ended up with medium muffins.
If using a metal muffin pan, don't forget to oil/grease it before adding the mixture. Silicon ones, remember to fill any spare cups with water and stand on a baking tray in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Insert a skewer into the tops. If it comes out clean they're done! With my old gas oven it took 25 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then take out and cool on a wire rack.

These would probably be pretty easy to make with kids, and they would be a great not too sugary treat!

Monday, 24 May 2010

What this blog will be about.

I've decided that this blog will have general details about the projects I do. These include music photography , baking, jewelery making and general crafts.
I'll be putting up pictures, tutorials, recipes and notes. Check back for further content in future.