Monday, 31 May 2010

Banana Bread.

Banana bread is a firm favourite with my friends. It's pretty easy to whip up in less than 5 minutes and the plate is always empty before the cake gets cold!

We had some bananas lying around so me and my brother did some banana bread this afternoon. He mashed the bananas while I made the cake batter. There are numerous recipes for banana bread but my favourite is just normal cake mix plus mushed banana. Same recipe as posted earlier, 4oz butter, 4oz sugar, 4oz self raising flour and 2 eggs. Peel the bananas, quarter them and then go at them with a fork until it's a gloopy mixture. Combine the two and cook in the oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes or when a knife is inserted it comes out clean.

Here it was just out of the oven,

After it collapsed a little (boo!) I tipped it out onto a plate. It's always nice when a cake comes clean out!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Apple Flan.

Did a quick apple flan for dessert after Sunday dinner. Cheated (I hope this doesn't turn into a regular occurence!) by buying a sponge flan case from the supermarket. I used Granny Smith apples as they're pretty good for pie fillings/toppings. First of all I peeled and chopped them into slices. I also managed to slice my finger because I tried to change the method of how I core apples, so I think I'll stay with my usual method to keep my blood.

Unable to locate a recipe, I just made up the next bit. I melted some butter along with caster sugar in a pan until it began to bubble before adding some cinnamon.

I then tipped in the sliced apples and allowed them to soften whilst stirring occassionally.

I then drained them, allowed them to cool before placing the slices around the flan base.

I then put the flan in the oven for about ten minutes at about 160 degrees. Afterwards I drizzled some of the cinnamon liquid that I had drained earlier oven the flan, before serving with vanilla clotted cream ice cream.

My family thought it was yum and so did I. Tomorrow my brother wants banana bread, so that'll probably appear up here at some point.

My 20th ideas.

I've decided that after making Faye's cake I'm gonna try and make my own. The theme of my 20th is going to be the letter "L", so as I'm going as a lion I thought I'd try making a lion cake, something like this.

Haha, only kidding! I think that's slightly beyond me just yet. Probably something more like this:

You should googleimage "Lion cake". Some of them are pretty damn funny! Anyway, so I think I'm going off the lion cake at the moment and might try and brave the design that I had for my 18th. The bottom layer was vanilla sponge and the top layer was chocolate.

I quite like the design of two parcels on top of each other. It will definately test my ability with fondant icing. Perhaps I'll need to do a couple of test runs...

Edit: Haha, just found this. Next Dinosaur Monday perhaps?

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Faye's Birthday Cake.

It was my flatmate Faye's 20th Birthday last Wednesday. Her party was on the Thursday so I decided to make some cupcakes and a birthday cake for her. After taking a trip to a huge Tesco, I completely forgot to buy sugar and flour. Luckily we had some in the cupboard and Faye picked some up for me while she was in town.

I started by making layer one of the birthday cake. We only have one sandwich tin and it's a small one so I decided on two layer cake. I used the sponge cake recipe that is memorised in my head. 4oz sugar, 4oz butter, 4oz flour and 2 eggs. I creamed the butter and sugar until it was fluffy and then alternated adding the flour and eggs. I spooned the mixture into the pan and then waited about 40 minutes hoping the oven was going to be nice to me today. It came out beautifully so I continued on with the second layer. This one decided to be a little bit trickier and half of it decided to stay in the pan when I wanted it to come out. After a little reconstructive surgery, it turned out alright. After allowing them to cool, I whipped up some buttercream to put the two slabs of cake together and then covered the whole cake in buttercream so the fondant icing would stick. I'd bought the fondant icing and it was my first time using it. There was a scary moment where the icing decided to stick to itself as I tried to get it flat over the cake but that was soon fixed and it went on pretty nice.

I trimmed the edges and just stuck some happy birthday candles on top, it was pretty simple but it looked nice.

Apple Pie.

Have you ever seen the show "Pushing Daisies?" The main guy's job is a pie maker and after watching about six episodes it was safe to say we all had pretty bad pie cravings. I decided on apple pie and followed the recipe from "The Hummingbird Bakery" cookbook which I received from Christmas. I did cheat a little however, it was my first time with pastry dough and I was terrified of mucking it up, so I went and bought the base of the pie. My logic was that if I completely messed up the top then I would have some sort of open apple pie.

The first order of business was the dough, the book told me to bang it all in my handy mixer. Except at this point at time I didn't have one. So it was good old elbow grease. The recipe said no more than 2 tablespoons of water but I had to whack in 5 to get anything dough like. I squidged it all into a ball, wrapped it in clingfilm and let it rest an hour. Onto the apples, I used granny smiths. No apple corer handy I had to try and dissect it by hand which was interesting. After peeling and slicing many apples, I melted butter along with sugar and cinnamon and boiled the apples for a couple of minutes. It smelled pretty dang good! I spooned them out onto a tray to cool.

I floured a surface and rolled out my dough. It rolled out pretty smooth and I was very pleased. I cut it to size and then filled my pre-bought base with the cooled apples, before pressing down the top. My flatmate then made some leaves to place on top of the pie and I then washed over the whole thing with milk and egg.

After going into the oven for an hour it came out like this:

I served it with vanilla ice cream and we settled down to watch Avatar. It was pretty dang good if I say so myself. I think I'll try making it again, entirely from scratch.


Hello to whoever you may be. I'm Laura, a 19 year old University student studying English who has a great interest in baking.

From January, me and my friends had taken part in something called "Movie Monday". It's all the name really, Monday's are rubbish so we brighten them up by watching a couple of movies. This began my ongoing battle with our oven and brownies.

Our oven is rubbish, it only cooks things on one side. It's broken at the moment. I had to grill cake the other day, and that was extremely interesting - but I'll get back to that later. For our first "Movie Monday" we had "Dinosaur Monday" where we watched movies with Dinosaurs in them, basically. We decided to make brownies and then to cut the pan into some sort of dinosaur shape. The brownies took forever to cook and then refused to come out of the pan. They tasted alright though!

"Movie Monday" continued like this for a couple of weeks until the infamous "Melty Monday". I decided to make White Chocolate Brownies, or Blondies, followed the recipe to the letter banged them in the oven for an hour and a half, inserted a skewer and it came out clean. I took them out the oven and brought them through to the living room to cut. I sliced in, the top was perfectly cooked but underneath it was still in a liquidy form. Us, being impatient, decided to eat them anymore and spooned it out into bowls. It was so good.

Over numerous movie nights we've had a variety of food such as Apple Crumble, Pecan Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie, Apple and Cinnamon Cake, more Brownies, Fairy Cakes, Marble Cake, Red Velvet Cake and a lot of Banana Bread.

I've decided to keep this blog as a record of what I bake and I hope to take more photos of what I cook and to see if I improve any!