Banana and Cinnamon Muffins

 These are my second attempt at muffins and I decided to go with a Hummingbird recipe, as they are famously American and are meant to be amazing with muffins.  The Banana and Cinnamon muffins in the first Hummingbird Recipe book simply sounded too good not to attempt so I got all the ingredients and started baking on a Sunday night to take to work the next day.Read More »

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The Super Breakfast Smoothie

I don’t do too well with cereals in the morning; I get bored very quickly and so full that I need a nap about ten minutes after.

So you can imagine that when I came across this concoction, I immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, I owe my brother for this one, so I’ll have to bake for him at some point to say thanks, but it’s still worth it.

I generally don’t use milk unless I’m baking, I’m a huge fan of oat milk (see picture below) or almond milk so tend to opt for either. The recipe works just as well with normal milk so swap it round if you prefer.

The smoothie is meant to be quite thick but again, dilute to taste. This is how I make mine…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium sized banana
  • 2 large handfuls of any fruit you like (this time I used strawberries and pineapple)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 200ml of oat drink (or any type of milk you prefer)

RECIPE

  1. Peel and chop all the fruit and bung it in the blender.
  2. Add everything else and blend away.
  3. Add more milk to taste (if you like it thinner)
  4. Drink and enjoy.
I absolutely love this as a breakfast and have had it everyday for ages.  You can literally use any type of fruit (I’ve even used orange segments); it always tastes great and fills you up straight through to lunch time.

The Quick and Easy Cheesecake.

 Yes people it is officially here, an easy way to make cheesecake! No cracks, no water baths, just nice and simple.

Well this is what I thought at least when I chose to make the ‘Fridge-Set Banana Cheesecake’ this weekend.  We had guests over for dinner and I was running out of layer cakes to bake.  My solution was to make a cheesecake instead but I didn’t have time to bake it the night before.  Luckily I saw this recipe, it’s quick to make (or at least quicker than other cheesecakes) and can set in a couple hours. Perfect.

The recipe suggested putting the biscuits in a food processor and adding the melted butter while it was mixing.  I am slightly attached to my method of preparing the base however and used a mortar and pestle and mixed the butter by hand.  There’s just something about bashing biscuits to a pulp that’s too satisfying to let the mixer do the job for me.

The mix went into the cake tin, which was lined with greaseproof paper, and pressed and flattened. This went into the fridge before starting the top, cheesy part of the cheesecake.

Now the recipe states here to put the gelatine leaves into water but the instructions on my pack stated it needed only 5 minutes in water, so I left this till just before I needed to use it.

The first part of the topping was made with mashed bananas and orange juice cooked through.  I do have a tip to put in here:  Try to use very ripe bananas, they’ll be much easier to mash – I felt like a complete weakling attempting to mash the barely ripened bananas we had!

I also had no idea what a cooked banana was meant to look like so I guessed (generally not the best of ideas when baking).  Once that was done, I put it aside to cool and started on the next part: whipping the cream cheese, sugar and eggs.  Now this was something I can do! The cream was then whipped in another bowl and folded into the cream cheese mix.

This was when I soaked the gelatine leaves and mixed it into the banana mixture until it had all melted. After spooning a bit of the cheese mixture into the banana to even up the temperature, I added the banana mix into the rest of the cheese mix. This went on top of the cheesecake base and straight back into the fridge to hopefully set in time.

 

Now I’ve never made any type of jelly before, or even used gelatine so I was praying that 1. It had set, 2. I didn’t muck up the temperatures.  Thankfully all was ok when I took out the cheesecake after dinner to serve.  I put a couple banana slices on top to decorate and dished it up for everyone.

 

The cheesecake went down a treat! The texture is firmer than a normal cheesecake, as the recipe says but it was delicious. Furthermore, the banana didn’t overpower in anyway – it was a really nice, light dessert.  One I will definitely make again.

I do have one confession to make though; thankfully it only managed to be in my slice so I got away with it! Apparently not all the gelatine was melted and I got a tiny little piece in my slice.  Oops!

A Mission To Reach Perfection….With A Banana Loaf!

With the success of making the lemon loaf, I decided to try another recipe to see if I can use all the batter this time.  If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  So here goes my second attempt, my excuse for baking this week was Father’s day.

For some reason, I get really excited when I have to put different spices into cakes because I know however they turn out, they definitely won’t be labelled as bland.  This cake had a mixture of cinnamon and ginger in it.  The job of mashing up the bananas was allocated to my father (as it was father’s day I wanted to ‘include’ him in the preparation!) and was apparently quite fun to do.

Last time I made a loaf, I was worried the batter would overflow so didn’t put all of it in and made a few cupcakes.  This time, I wanted to see if I could use all of the batter.  Ignoring my gut feeling not to, I put all the batter into the pre greased and dusted tin, put it in the oven and forbid myself to open the door until it was done.

Now you’re probably waiting for me to tell you of my complete failure; but it didn’t turn out that bad.  It was all nicely cooked; it just decided to not look very much like a loaf.  Instead of rising, as the cake hadn’t cooked enough before the batter rose to the top; it collapsed and spread along the sides of the tin. It ended up looking more like a mushroom if I’m honest.

This turned the simple act of getting a cake out of the tin into a very tricky experience; thankfully I somehow managed it and left the cake to cool.  I grabbed my father and rushed him off to his Father’s Day present, dinner and the ballet.

Regardless of its interesting shape; the cake  turned out really well,  it was very moist and the mix of banana and spices complimented eachother really well; each not being too overpowering.  Definately one to try EVEN if you don’t like bananas!