Tag Archives: baking

Wholemeal Banana Cupcakes

By now some of you might have noticed that I really love ripe bananas and I like using them in my cooking. I think there are very versatile fruits, you can eat them as is, blend them with milk or yoghurt to make smoothies, bake them in cakes or muffins or even mix them in pancake and crepe batter. They can be even fried in butter to serve over ice cream as a sweet dessert, clearly the options are endless. Other than the fact that they are sweet, bananas are rich in Potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

What better way to use these fruits than with equally healthy ingredients, wholemeal flour.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup margarine

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

3 very ripe bananas mashed

2 cups wholemeal flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg – optional

3/4 cup plain yoghurt

A handful of raisins

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Line the muffin tray with cupcake liners. In case you don’t have the liners, grease the tray with some margarine then dust with some little flour.

In a mixing bowl pour in the sugar and add the margarine.

brown sugar and margarine
brown sugar and margarine

Using a wooden spoon, mix the two till creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla essence.

York yellow
York yellow

Once combined add the mashed bananas.

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In another bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Add the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture in three proportions alternating with the yoghurt.

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In the third addition, mix the raisins with the flour.

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Pour and mix till combined.

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Finally divide the batter evenly into the already prepared tin.

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Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

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Enjoy.

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Black Forest Cake

If you like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter you must have seen my previous complaints about my black forest cake backfiring. It got so bad that I decided not to try again. I resulted in getting my brother to bake the cake then I do the frosting.

This past weekend we were having a bridal for a good friend of mine and I offered to bring a black forest cake. At first I had requested my brother to do the baking but on second thought I decided to ask him for his recipe. I needed to face my fears. I normally hate it when cakes back fire, though my friends think otherwise since they enjoy eating my backfired cakes, ha!

This recipe is a bit different from others that I have tried. The great thing is that it worked.

Before I go on, be warned this will be a very long post full of many photos so if you are yet to have lunch I suggest you eat first :-). Oh and another thing, making a black forest is a bit tedious, not the baking part but the layering and frosting so patience is key.

Ingredients:

For the cake;

7 medium sized eggs

220 g all purpose flour – about 1 3/4 cups

23o g sugar – about 1 1/2 cups

160 g margarine – about 3/4 cup

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon coffee

2.5 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of passion flavour essence – optional

For feeding the cake

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

4 tablespoons of water

Some juice – optional

For the frosting

Whipping cream

Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

Chocolate

Equipment

Electric mixer

wooden skewer or toothpick

Start with baking the cake.

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Grease the baking tins and line them with grease proof paper. I used 2 9 inch round tins since I wanted the cake to have four layers.

the main culprits
the main culprits

Baking this cake is pretty easy since you just dump in all the ingredients then using an electric mixer you combine the ingredients and the cake batter is ready.

All the ingredients
All the ingredients

Using the handy mixer…

Cake batter
Cake batter

Divide the batter between the two tins. Ensure they are more or less the same.

ready to be baked
ready to be baked

Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I said a prayer as I put the cakes in.

Excitement!!! I was jumping up and down. The cakes had not backfired. Thank you God.

Fresh from the oven
Fresh from the oven

Let the cakes cool for about ten minutes then remove them from the tins to cool further.

chilled out
chilled out

It’s advisable to let the cakes cool completely, this will come in handy when layering the cake. The crumbs won’t be as many.

I wrapped my cakes in clear cling film them I put then in the fridge.

Same day evening…

Layering and frosting.

Take one cake, I put mine on top of an overturned baking tin. This is to aid in layering the cake.

Start by leveling the cake.

Leveled, I guess
Leveled, I guess

Then slice the cake in half to form two almost equal layers.

tada
tada

Repeat the above steps for the second cake.

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leaning tower of black forest

Now for the fun part.

the whipping cream
the whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream

To make the sugar water, combine the icing sugar, water and juice if using. I used some orange juice that I had in the fridge. For the extra kick I guess you can put a tablespoon of rum in the mixture instead of juice.

food for the cake
food for the cake

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a board, then using a wooden skewer or toothpick poke the surface of the cake.

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Then drizzle about a tablespoon of the sugar water over the cake. This will feed the cake to ensure it continues to be moist and spongy.

Put a dollop of whipping cream on the surface of the bottom layer.

bottom layer
bottom layer

Spread it evenly on the surface of the cake.

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Spread the strawberries. I had some leftover cherries so I threw them in.

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Repeat the steps for all the layers.

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After filling in all the layers, coat the entire cake with the whipping cream.

white cake...
white cake…

It doesn’t need to look perfect since you will pile on chocolate.

When it comes to putting the chocolate, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can choose to grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake. If you are in a hurry, like I was, you can cut the chocolate into chunks and stick around the cake. Don’t worry they won’t fall off, the whipping cream acts as the glue.

Decorate the top with smaller pieces of chocolate then make a border on the cake with whole strawberries that are slightly dipped in whipping cream.

talk of abstract art
talk of abstract art

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the cake
the cake

By the way I used homemade chocolate.

The cake looks so huge, I guess it’s a 1.5kg.

When it got to cake time, I was anxious to see how the layers would look. Then the bride to be sliced the cake.

Need I say more?
Need I say more?

This cake may take long to prepare but, trust me it’s worth the wait. So go on try it out, in case you don’t succeed on the first attempt don’t give up there’s always a second, third or fourth try.

Pineapple upside down flop :-(

This was the second time I was making this cake and since the first time was a huge success I didn’t think this time would be any different. Boy was I wrong.

Honestly, I had debated on whether I should post this seeing that it didn’t come out as expected. All in all I decided to (que sera sera), I’m no professional chef so once in a while I’m allowed to burn the food, over salt it, add the wrong spice catch the drift I’m human.

Anyway back to the cake, just as the name suggests you put pineapple slices on the baking tin then the cake batter, then when the cake is done you turn it upside down and the pineapple slices are on top… sounds simple?

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

4 tbsp sugar for sprinkling

1 cup margarine/butter

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract/essence

Zest of one lemon

3 ripe bananas preferably mashed

A handful of cake mix (sultanas & raisins)

A handful of chocolate chips

1/2 pineapple sliced horizontally

Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees.

Grease your baking tin with some margarine/butter then sprinkle the sugar. Line it with the sliced pineapples.

pineapple slices

In a mixing bowl cream your sugar and margarine till light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla essence mixture. Mix after every egg addition.

Eggs and vanilla essence

Add the bananas, I forgot to mash mine before hand so I did extra mixing to ensure they were incorporated. *working the biceps 🙂 * #iLie

oops , caught red handed I used an electric mixer O-o

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients.

flour,baking powder,salt,lemon zest,sultanas and chocolate chips

Fold in the flour mixture into the mixing bowl.

Be careful not to over mix, you just want them to be incorporated, then add the batter to the tin lined with the pineapple slices.

just before popping it into the oven

Bake it for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

The big flop:

I baked it longer and the pineapples sorta burned well not sorta they really burned 😦

So I just removed all the burnt pineapples threw them away and left the top of the cake to be the top of the cake no flipping over was done. And that is how you right a wrong 🙂

Verdict:

I served the cake to some guests who had come over and dare I say it was a huge hit *does the moonwalk*

If I could it all over again:

Well,we all know what I’d do differently.

Apologies, I forgot to take the photos of the end result sans the burnt pineapples. I guess I was a bit disappointed.

I’ll make one soon and post.

How it should have looked

The first attempt

Sweet tooth: Having Breakfast for Supper

I love looking at different recipes and spicing them up with my own additions. My love for baking made me search for a simple muffin recipe. The first time I baked them, I had some ripe bananas and had a great idea of incorporating them into the recipe. Since then, I always bake them with bananas. My love for chocolate inspired yet another ingredient chocolate chips *yum*.

The dry ingredients: flour, baking flour,cocoa,cinnamon,coffee

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tsps baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

4 tbsp cocoa (for the chocolate colour & taste)

1/4 tsp instant coffee

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 egg

Handful of chocolate chips

Handful of sultanas and raisins

2 bananas preferably mashed

Pre heat your oven at 350 degrees, grease your muffin tin and set it aside.

my ‘muffin’ tin

In a large mixing bowl add your vegetable oil and sugar and mix them well. You can use a wooden spoon for the mixing, I used a cake mixture (wedding gift) though.Then add your egg and vanilla essence and beat the mixture till smooth.

Since I hadn’t mashed my bananas, I added them in and mashed away.

The wet ingredients with the semi mashed bananas

Once the bananas are well incorporated, add the some milk and alternating with the flour. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the dry ingredients.

Once all are incorporated, add the cake mix (sultanas & raisins) and the chocolate chips. Fold them in, and you are ready to bake.

Using a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter onto the greased tin.

I really filled them up O-o

Bake them for 15-20 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Chocolate yumminess

This recipe made 18 muffins.

Ready for serving

This was yesterday’s dinner, Imagine!!! Served with tea and enjoyed them with our lovely neighbours and friends, the Murigis.

Note: The vegetable oil in the recipe in stead of the usual butter/margarine helps in making the muffins moist.

Verdict:

Pretty moist and delicious, though previous muffins have been tastier.

If I could do it over again:

Add lemon zest. Cakes taste so much better with lemon zest