Over the last five days I have made three (3!) cakes – sounds glorious doesn’t it?
It all started on Saturday morning. I whipped up my go-to celebration cake while Shane took the two big girls to swimming lessons and the baby was asleep. It was my Grandma’s 87th birthday – her first birthday since my Pop passed – and we were heading to her place for lunch on Sunday. Mum was taking lunch and I put my hand up to make the cake, because it really is the best cake.
Which cake is it you ask? It’s Baby Mac’s Anne Chocolate Cake. It’s such a forgiving recipe and as long as your tin is big enough, you can make it in whatever shape you want. I have even made a half batch of the recipe for a dozen patty cakes – very versatile.
I also made the Anne buttercream that’s in Beth’s recipe for Sunday’s cake. Last year though for little A’s second birthday I made Rebel’s Nutella buttercream and lets just say that it was a smash hit. My heavens my mouth waters at the thought and I literally wanted to bath in the stuff.
So if you are making a celebration cake or just want a very pleasing slice of cake – this is it.
On the way to my Grandma’s we had organised to call in and catch up with some dear friends and I had said I would bring cake to that as well! What a shame. So I made my favourite banana bread. It’s a Thermomix (TMX) recipe but I am 100% sure you could very easily do the same with out a TMX, it’ll just take you a few more minutes. I’ve posted the recipe below with TMX instructions and a basic interpretation if you don’t have a TMX.
My idea of a good banana bread is the dense consistency you get. Each mouthful is the same and the crust is chewy because there’s a good amount of sugar in that there cake. I sometimes pour the batter into some heart shaped silicone moulds I was given, and they are a great little lunchbox portion as well as appealing to the eyes of small humans. When I do this I only bake them for a third of the cooking time prescribed in the recipe.
We have a passionfruit vine and it rains fruit intermittently. When we have them in abundance I like to make a passionfruit cream cheese icing for the banana bread, which makes it all very decadent and luxurious. It’s so delicious and I very much do it by feel, but it probably looks as I’ve described below.
Anywho, we had all of this cake left over after the birthday and visit and it seemed a bit too much. Self control is not a quality I possess. I cut a plate up and took it into kindy for the teachers on Monday. And then on Tuesday my husband took ALL OF THE CAKE to his work for his colleagues. Like all of the leftover cake… I was bloody devastated.
The look on the girls faces when they realised there was no cake for their lunch boxes was pretty heartbreaking, and the distaste at the idea of having dried apricots, pumpkin seeds and bananas as an alternative was rather hilarious. So I told them I would make something new while they were at Kindy and care that day and we’d have it for afternoon tea.
Enter the zucchini brownie. Once again this is a Thermomix recipe but if you’ve got a decent food processor you could absolutely achieve the same thing.
It came out looking and smelling the business and once it was cooled it is delicious and fudgey. I also split the sugar and used 90g of raw and 90g of coconut sugar. If you used the full 180g of raw I dare say it would be sweeter (and obviously more yummy). I’m sure you could also play with the flours and mix it up with some buckwheat if you are into that, but I was keen for the kids to like it and we are all good with gluten in this household so I just used good old SR flour. Served with a dollop of natural yogurt its the perfect treat/not-treat.
Not sure what I’ll be baking in the week ahead but it is something I am always seeking inspiration on. Especially things that are easy to throw into lunchboxes and don’t need refrigerating. What are you baking at the moment?
What you need:
- 130g butter softened
- 350g bananas
- 150g castor sugar (I usually only use 100g)
- 2 eggs
- 220g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bi carb soda
- 100g milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line tin with grease-proof paper. I literally chuck the paper in there and don’t bother with greasing as well. #notbovvered
- Mash bananas 5 sec on speed 6 / Mash bananas
- Add butter and sugar and mix 20 sec on speed 4 / Mix in butter and sugar and cream until consistent
- Add eggs and mix 10 sec on speed 4 / Mix in eggs and beat until just mixed
- Add remaining ingredients and combine 20 sec on speed 4 / Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Whack it in the tin and oven and bake for 50-60mins depending on your oven.
*banana bread recipe from TMX Basic Cook Book
Passionfruit cream cheese icing
What you need:
- 1-2 passionfruit; I don’t like the texture of passionfruit seeds in baking so I actually strain the juice. I eat the seeds once I’ve put the juice to the side because they are still delicious and I don’t like waste.
- 200-250g full fat cream cheese; just depends on how ‘luxurious’ you want your icing
- At least 1 cup of icing sugar sifted; if you like it sweeter than add more to your tasting.
What to do:
- Whack it all in a bowl and mix with a fork until it’s all whipped and delicious and consistent and tastes like freaking heaven.
- Smother your cooled banana bread and eat it!