Happy new year readers!Its a bit late granted, but we've another 360 days to go at yet, but I sincerely hope 2012 brings you all the best life can offer. I'm starting the new year as I intend to go on with some home baking and here are some recent bakes, to be honest I made these cakes to use up fruits from Christmas that had not been eaten. Funny how at Christmas you'll eat anything other than fresh fruit from the fruit bowl, then in the new year its all you feel you need or should be eating.
After the Christmas indulgences I want something with a fresher taste rather than being overly rich so here we have a banana tray bake, with recipe and two lemon inspired cakes (above). This banana cake is a great way to use up ripe bananas and makes a lovely cake and dessert with custard or ice cream, its a moist squidgy cake with a lovely toffee like topping. The recipe for this cake is from a gem of a book called Brownies, Bars and Goodies Galore by Jo McAuley and published (and given to me to review) by Octopus Books. This is a book with the US market in mind but good conversion charts are included at the back of the book, there are some fab recipes in there, some are gluten free.
Upside down banana sheet cake
5 small ripe bananas
1/3 US cups prunes chopped
1/2 US cups dried bananas chopped
2 free range eggs
1+3/4 US cups self rasing flour
1 tsp baking powder
1+ 1/4 US cups light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1. Pre heat the oven to 170c fan. Line a square cake tin (9 inches). The take 2 of the bananas and slice these to cover the bottom of the tin.
2. Put sugar and 100g butter in a pan and heat slowly until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour this into the bottom of the tin over the sliced bananas and leave to one side.
4. Cream the caster sugar and butter until pale then add the beaten eggs a little at a time. In another bowl mash the remaining bananas with a fork.
5. Fold the flour and baking powder into the mix followed by the mashed bananas, dried bananas, prunes and milk.
6. Spoon the mix over the sliced bananas in the tin and level with a spoon. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until risen and test with a skewer. Leave in the tin to cool initially then turn out. Beware the syrup may trickle out and can be hot. Serve in squares cold, warm or hot.
The two lemon inspired cakes (pictured above) were made from recipes from Vanessa Kimbell's book 'Prepped' I know a lot of lucky people received this book as a Christmas present so hopefully this will tempt you to try some of the lovely recipes. The lemon and lavender cake is so good, moist, fresh and slightly fragrant with the lavender.I finished mine with some icing coloured with a touch of grape coloured food gel and finished with lemon slices and culinary lavender.The other cake (above) is a lemon cake too, different recipe to the lemon/lavender one but both cakes are drizzled with a lemon syrup (icing is optional) to add even more zing! Just the thing to give your new year a kick start.