Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

This recipe is great if you have a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl that that are starting ripen a bit too much and you need to use a whole batch before they turn for good.

Ingredients 

180g Self-raising flour (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large riped bananas, mashed
150g dark brown sugar
1 egg
75g butter, melted

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Place 12 paper baking cases in a muffin tin.
2. Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork and gently melt the butter in a microwave or on the hob.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
4. Add the brown sugar to the mashed bananas along with melted butter and the eggs.
5. Gradually fold the flour into the banana mixture and incorporate well.
6. Spoon the mix evenly into the a muffin.
7. Bake in the over for 30 minutes or until they have risen and are golden brown.

To finish, dust with icing sugar.

Sticky Balsamic Fried Onions

Sticky Balsamic Fried Onions

It’s Halloween season and here’s a cool recipe to make your onions look like worms with this sticky balsamic fried onions recipe – Mwahahahahaha!

In all seriousness, this is a great side dish to have with toad in the hole, in a burger, hot dog or to garnish a salad in the summer. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

Half a tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying
3 large onions cut into rings
Splash of water for steaming
1 tablespoon of Muscovado/dark brown sugar 
One crushed garlic (optional) 
120ml diluted OXO beef stock cube 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. In a frying pan, bring the oil to a medium heat and add the onions and the crushed garlic. Move frequently and fry until they’re soft – to speed this process up, increase the heat, add a splash of water and cover. Essentially we want to try and soften the onions.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until the onions are a nice golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and increase the heat.
  3. Gradually incorporate the the beef stock, stir and cook until the stock is reduced. Add more sugar or balsamic vinegar to suit your tastes.

That’s it – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. If you do make this recipe with toad in the hole, check out my mashed potato recipe here.

Sticky Balsamic Fried Onions

King carrot cake with Philadelphia cream cheese icing

King carrot cake with Philadelphia cream cheese icing

I’ve called this King carrot cake, not only because it’s absolutely massive, but because it features my Autumn King carrots – but really any type of carrot will do. The Philadelphia icing is absolutely devine also.

Ingredients

  • 400ml olive oil
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 500g carrots, blitzed in a food processor or grated

For the Philadelphia icing cream

  • 200g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 100g salted butter, softened
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)

Method

1. First off, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and prepare a cake tin that’s over 26cm/10in square. Go large or go home people. I tend olive oil works better with keeping cakes moist better than sunflower or vegetable oil.

2. Mix together the olive oil, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar and ground cinnamon. Slow incorporate the beaten eggs into the mix.

3. Blitz your carrots in a food processor and stir the carrots into the batter.

4. Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for 1.5 hour. If you insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean, it should be done. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the  cream icing

1. In a bowl mix together Philadelphia cream cheese, caster sugar, salted butter and lemon juice into a bowl and mix together until light and creamy.

2. Spread over the top of your carrot cake.

Marrow Chutney recipe

Marrow Chutney recipe

This marrow chutney recipe will provide you with just over 2 1 litre sized Kilner Jars.

Ingredients
1 large marrow, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 large spanish onions, diced
2 tablespoons salt
4 Granny Smith apples diced, peeled and chopped into chunks
1.2L malt vinegar
Up to 500g sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 tablespoons of sultanas (optional)

Method

1.  As part of this marrow chutney recipe, at least 24 hours before you intend to mix the salt, onions and marrow together and leave overnight. We’re using the salt to extract the water from onions and marrows so that the mixture won’t get too mushy.
2. When you make the chutney remove the water from the pot.
3. Add the apples to mix, along with the vinegar and add some heat, we want to get the pot to simmer until the vegetables are soft, this can take around 20 minutes or so.
4. Add 300g of sugar and stir.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the cornflour, mustard powder and turmeric and splash of vinegar until the mixture is a paste. Add this new mixture to the pot and dissolve. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick. If there are large chunks, use a potato masher to break the mixture.
6. Sample the mixture and adjust to your own taste, you may find that you want to add some more sugar, or some more vinegar depending on what you like.
7. Add the mixture to hot, sterilised jars and seal.
8. You can use this chutney straight away, but for best results, leave to mature for at least four weeks.

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Ingredients
Butter for greasing
300g rhubarb, with the leaf and base stem removed
60g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g soft salted butter

Crumble
50g salted butter
30g brown sugar
100g plain flour, sifted

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 4. Grease and line (with grease proof paper) a shallow baking tin that is around 20cm square, 5cm deep.

2. Cut the rhubarb into chunks that are around 2cm long – resembling bite sized chunks. Add these chunks to a bowl incorporating the sugar and the flour. Leave this to sit for around 10 mins or so while you make the crumble.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the sifted flour, brown sugar and butter with your fingers until the mixture goes crumbly and resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Back to the rhubarb flour mix, mix in the eggs, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix together. The consistency needs to be quite thick otherwise the rhubarb will sink to the bottom during baking. If you find it’s not quite thick enough – add some more sifted flour and stir.

5. Add the rhubarb cake mixture to the tin that was prepared earlier, I tend to drop chunks of rhubarb on top of the cake mixture for decoration. Spread across the tin evenly and scatter the crumble mixture over the top the of cake mix.

6. Bake the cake for around 40 minutes until it’s golden brown. Check with a skewer making sure it comes out clean – if it’s clean, this means it’s cooked. Leave to cool for around 15 minutes.

If you would like, feel feel to sieve icing sugar over the top for further decoration.