Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

I know bananas are still pretty expensive right now. But if you happen to have a couple of well ripened bananas lying around, why not put them to good use in this lovely recipe.

Cakes

225g plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas
115g butter, roughly chopped and softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
55g pecans, chopped

Lemon Icing

135g butter, roughly chopped and softened
2 ½ cups icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
25g pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray with paper cases.

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl, then set aside. Peel and roughly chop the bananas into a small bowl, mash with a fork and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream with a wooden spoon.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and chopped pecans.  Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each of the prepared paper cases.

Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Lemon Icing:

Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Sift icing sugar over the top and add lemon juice. Beat until combined.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans before serving.

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Banana & Raspberry Bread

When I bake, I know what I like, but sometimes it is hard to tell what other people actually like.  I regularly take baked goods into work and people there can be quite effusive in their praise even at times when I don’t agree.  But I guess when someone asks for the recipe because they’ve been looking for a banana bread that is”moist but not too sticky” you know that you’re onto a winner!

Also, I just adore the combination of raspberries and bananas!

Banana & Raspberry Bread

2 egg whites
3 medium bananas, mashed until smooth
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 14x21cm loaf pan with baking paper.

 

Lightly beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Combine egg whites, banana, sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl.

Sift in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and bicarbonate of soda.

Fold together until just combined. Fold through raspberries and spoon mixture into prepared pan.

 

Bake for 1 1/4 hours, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice to serve.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird cake is rather delicious, but cupcakes are a little more fun and quicker to make, so I thought I’d have a go at making Hummingbird cupcakes.  The results were a delicious success.  I have since made these at @dragnflydreamz‘s request, and so they were my donation to his Movember fundraiser.  That the cupcakes were gone in 10 minutes, and resulted requests for the recipe, is a sure indication of a winner.  The recipe makes 24 – 30 cupcakes depending on how much you fill the patty cases.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

 

2 cups self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup shredded coconut
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
1 ⅓ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 medium bananas, mashed
440 g can crushed pineapple, drained

 

ICING
200 g cream cheese, softened
40 g butter, softened
1 lemon zest
3 cups icing sugar

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin trays with paper cases.

Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl. Stir in desiccated and shredded coconuts, pecans and sugar. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and eggs. Blend into flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the banana and pineapple, stirring until well combined.

Divide mixture between patty cases.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

ICING

In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Slowly add sifted icing sugar, beating until well combined. Spread icing over cupcakes to serve.

Chocolate Banana Cake

By now you may have noticed I have a bit of a thing for chocolate, and for bananas.

In this recipe two of my favourite ingredients have been combined to make an simple,  moist chocolate banana cake.

Chocolate Banana Cake

1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 large overripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Icing

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 tablespoons milk, warmed

 

Preheat oven to 180C.  Lightly grease an 8-cup capacity, 24cm fluted ring tin.

Sift flours, cocoa, bicarbonate soda and baking powder into a large bowl.  Add husks from the sieve.  Add sugar and stir to combine.  Make a well in the centre.

Combine eggs, banana, buttermilk and oil in a jug.  Pour into the well in the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine.

Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin and smooth the surface.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Leave cake in the tin for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing:

Sift icing and cocoa into a bowl.  Add milk.  Using a wooden spoon, mix until smooth.

Pour icing over the cooled cake.  Using a flat-bladed knife/spatula, spread over top.  Allow icing to run down the sides.  Stand for 20 minutes or until icing sets.


Mini Banana Breads

For quite a while now I have been looking a recipe to make a banana bread that is similar to that sold at Boost Juice.  By chance I came across a recipe in Borders, which included hazelnut meal in the ingredients.  As I hadn’t yet tried a recipe with hazelnut meal in it, I wondered if this could be the key, but I was unwilling to purchase a cook book for just one recipe.

Instead I decided to search the internet and came across this recipe which claims to be a “Gloria Jean’s” style banana bread.  Now I’ve never tried the banana bread from Gloria Jean’s, but since the recipe included hazelnut meal I decided to give it a whirl.

On the first attempt I discovered that the loaf tin I had was too small but I decided to bake it anyway, and ended up with a sunken but tasty banana bread.

I decided for the second attempt I would try out the mini loaf pan I had yet use but I misread the recipe and added the brown sugar to the dry ingredients by mistake.

The third attempt at this recipe turned out beautifully.  After all that, it’s not much like the banana bread at Boost Juice, actually, I think it’s better.

Mini Banana Breads

 

1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cup hazelnut meal
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
120 g butter, softened
2 eggs
3 overripe bananas
⅓ cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 8xmini loaf pan with baking paper.

Sift flour, bicarb soda and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Add hazelnut meal and stir to combine. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl mash the bananas. Add golden syrup and vanilla extract and give it a quick stir.

Add half of the flour and half of the banana mixture to the creamed butter and beat until just combined.  Repeat with remaining flour and banana mixture until combined.

Pour batter into prepared mini loaf pan, filling each mini loaf 3/4 full.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.

Banana Bars

Here I go, starting another blog.  This time it’s going to be all about food which is so absolutely my passion.  I have always been into food, particularly baking, but it’s been an on again off again thing due to my various living arrangements.  A few years ago I read Elizabeth Wurtzel’s The Secret of Life: Commonsense Advice for the Uncommon Woman and one piece of advice that jumped out at me went something along the lines of: that to have an obsession is a beneficial healthy thing, something that occupies your time and makes you happy.  When I read this, I realised that my obsession, the something that makes me happiest, is obviously cooking.  After that I started cooking and baking again at any opportunity – birthdays, Christmas, housewarmings – and now I often bake “just because” and take the resulting slices, cookies, cakes and cupcakes to work or my best friend’s house just so I don’t have to eat the whole lot myself.

For my first post I feel as though it should have been of something much more impressive looking, but, these Banana Bars were just so soft and more-ish that I have to blog about them! I bought a $1 bag bananas at the Prahran Market the other week thinking to make banana bread, but instead I came across this recipe in one of my go to cookbooks for slices and cookies: Nestle Toll House: Best-Loved Cookies and I had to give it a go.

Banana Bars

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
190 g butter, chopped and at room temperature
⅔ cup caster sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana
1 egg
2 cups dark choc chips

Prepare by preheating the oven to 180C and grease then line a 30x15cm slice tin.

Sift flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Add salt.

With an electric mixer, cream butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat in bananas and egg until just combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir through choc chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares to serve.