Heart Healthy Banana Cake

Heart Healthy Banana Cake

This is a cake you can feel virtuous about eating. Not only is it packed with over-ripe bananas that you don’t know what to do with (I seem to constantly have this problem), but it’s also bursting with sultanas and cinnamon and tastes *amazing*! (recipe below)

It does have butter in it, but only 50g for the whole cake. The way I look at it butter (in moderation) has got to be way healthier than margarine (which after all is a by-product of the petrochemical industry – yeuch) and I’m just not as keen on cakes made with oil. So the butter was worth it IMHO. You could alwasy substitute it with oil if you prefer. I tried to find the conversion and found that 50g of butter = approx 50 ml of oil, but I haven’t tried this so let me know if you have more experience please! 🙂

Also, I was trying my new silicone cake tin out – only ÂŁ5 from Ikea – how good is that? I just wish I’d bought their loaf tin from the same range, cakes always seem to get stuck in my regular loaf tin! Gotta love Ikea! Anyway, it left such pretty patterns in the bottom of the cake that I decided to whip up some chocolate ganache and spend a calming half an hour piping melted chocolate into the pattern (see my finished efforts below). Very satisfying!

Plus it meant my 7-year-old was very keen to eat the cake and had 2 slices – any way I can get fruit into him has got to be a good thing!

It was also such a healthy cake that I felt justified having a slice of it for breakfast this morning. What a great start to the day!

Heart Healthy Banana Cake

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Store Cupboard Heroes: Chocolate Jam Cake

Chocolate Jam Cake

This is a great and easy-to-make everyday cake. I very much subscribe to the Marie Antoinette school of cake-eating where cake is an expected part of the day rather than a special treat. This cake is plain enough to stop you feeling like you’re over-indulging, but it’s dense and moist and tasty enough to hit the spot. It’s also National Chocolate Week this week (apparently) so that’s an extra excuse too.

It’s based on a Nigella recipe which uses Marmalade to flavour a chocolate cake, but I fancied a strawberry version and very delicious it is too!

I think using black cherry jam would be equally delicious…

It’s great served still warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or left to go completely cold and eaten in big slices with a cup of tea.

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Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

This is made using the same recipe as the Chocolate Toffee Brownie recipe I posted yesterday. Don’t kid yourself though, it may look like a birthday cake but it’s actually an enormous chewy, dark and delicious chocolate brownie topped with cream cheese icing. It’s worth warning people, otherwise on first bit they might think you’ve made the heaviest sponge cake in the world!!!

One word of warning: I wouldn’t recommend using the same Happy Birthday candles I did. By the time you’ve lit them all it’s a bit like a blazing inferno and they’re dripping wax all over the cake. Not the end of the world, as long as you don’t mind slightly waxy frosting…

Anyway, see the brownie recipe here. Just tip into a cake tin and cook for an extra 10 minutes.

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

The  cream cheese frosting recipe is below:

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Individual Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Sometimes you need to indulge, and these Chocolate Toffee Brownies are a great way of doing just that! They are deeply chocolately, chewy and oh so satisfying! I had a bad case of that Monday-morning feeling yesterday, so I made a cup of tea and ate 2 of these little beauties and life suddenly seemed much brighter. I swear there’s magic in a good brownie!

The marshmallows melt and bubble and turn into gooey toffee inside the brownies. It wasn’t intentional when I added marshmallows to the mix, but it was a great result. Sometimes some of life’s greatest discoveries are by accident and this is one of those!

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 handfuls of mini marshmallows
  • 30g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

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Harry Potter Party food: Chocolate Wands and Exploding Chocolate Frogs

Harry Potter Chocolate Wands

Preparations for our Harry Potter party are coming along nicely! The Marauders Map Invitations have been sent out, our costumes are organized and I’ve turned my mind to Harry Potter-themed food! Here is the first batch: Chocolate wands, Exploding Chocolate Frogs and Cheesy Shooting Stars.

Chocolate Wands

These are super-easy to make. I used breadsticks, dipped them in melted chocolate and sprinkled them with sugar strands. You could add a little popping candy to them if you fancy an extra surprise too. The popping candy will fizz a little when dropped onto the melted chocolate, but plenty of crackle will be left. Leave on greaseproof paper and pop into the fridge until set.

Harry Potter Exploding Chocolate Frogs

Look innocent enough don’t they? But beware these Exploding Chocolate Frogs pack a punch!

Exploding Chocolate Frogs

I was just going to buy Freddo chocolate frogs for the party, but I thought I’d go one further and make them myself. I bought a (very cheap) plastic frog chocolate mould (just Google around and you’ll find lots to choose from).  Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over some hot water or VERY CAREFULLY in the Microwave.

I used half Cadburys Dairy Milk and half dark chocolate. When the melted chocolate mixture has cooled a little tip in a good amount of popping candy. I got the popping candy from the baking section at my local supermarket, they sell little tubs of it for baking (thank you Heston for helping to make popping candy so readily available!).

The popping candy does fiz and pop when you add it to the chocolate but there’s till plenty of power left once the chocolate is set so don’t worry about that. Once you’ve filled the frog moulds just pop into the fridge to set.

Harry Potter Exploding Chocolate Frogs Harry Potter Chocolate Wands and Frogs Harry Potter Exploding Chocolate Frogs and Parmesan Stars

Cheesy Shooting Stars

I used up the same dough for these as I did for the Parmesan Dinosaur Biscuits. They are crumbly, light and ever so tasty. Just cut with a star-shaped cutter instead and sprinkle with a little edible glitter to make them look extra special!

What other food do I need for my Harry Potter party? Pumpkin pasties? Acid Drops? Ideas please!

My Other Harry Potter Party posts:

 

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Chocolate raspberry pudding

This wonderful deep, rich and warming pudding is a variation the Chocolate Pear Pudding from Nigella Express. I tried the original recipe and wasn’t sold on the idea of pears with chocolate, so decided to try remaking it with some raspberries I had in the freezer.

This version is wonderful and would be even better served with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of the hot pudding (which is all melty in the middle). *Pudding heaven*

Devastatingly, we didn’t have any ice-cream in the freezer when I made this.  Oh well, I guess that just gives me the perfect excuse to make it again next week.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g soft butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ÂĽ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF and grease 6 small ovenproof ramekins or dishes.
  2. Put all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor and blitz until you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
  3. Mix in the raspberries then spoon into the dishes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Let stand out of the oven for 5 or 10 minutes (otherwise there will be very burned mouths) then top with a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy! *sigh*

Chocolate raspberry pudding Chocolate raspberry pudding

Slutty Brownies: Just HOW Good Are They?

Slutty Brownies

Slutty Brownies seem to be every food blogger’s go-to recipe at the moment. They are being pinned, posted about and shared all over every social network I look at and they always look mighty fine. So how could I not try them? In truth I’ve been craving them for a couple of weeks now, but only got around to making them yesterday.

So are they worth all they hype?

Frankly? No. They’re alright in terms of amount-of-effort vs reward, but in terms of a delicious treat, I’d much rather eat this, or this (particularly that one), or this, or even this!

The combination of ready-bought biscuit-mix, muffin-mix and soggy Oreo biscuits just isn’t particularly great. If it was made with homemade ingredients it would be much nicer, but it would still have those damp soggy Oreos in the middle and it’s the whole slutty easiness which makes the recipe so appealing in the first place…

Even my 7 year old’s response was ‘mummy, I don’t really like this‘ and half the brownie was left on the plate. Gobsmacked is not the word. It’s a chocolatey treat, I didn’t think it would be rejected by a small boy.

That’s not to say they’re totally without merit. If you’re looking for an easy treat which involves minimum effort then by all means give them a try – I’d love to know whether you’re as underwhelmed as I am or whether you’ve found the secret to making them truly delicious…

You don’t really need a recipe for slutty brownies, but I’ve made you handy infographic which tells you pretty much all you need to know. If you did need a ‘proper’ recipe for Slutty Brownies I got mine here.

Let me know what you think 🙂

Slutty Brownies