mutteringhousewife

What does the last of the housewives do?

Category: Baking

Malted Oat Biscuits

I don’t want to be mean or anything, but the Thermomix is no good at creaming butter. There, I said it. Fortunately this is not one of those recipes that requires light fluffy butter, this is another lunch box filler because the cupboard is bare Yet Again.

The reason I’m using the Thermomix for this is because I’ve just made some butter, something that is becoming a weekly occurrence. Rather than wash the jug out, I just move on to making the biscuits, and I’ll follow that up with making raisin bread with the buttermilk. Such a housewifely morning I’m having, waiting for the StarTrak man to come and take away the remains of the epic party we had yesterday. I hope he comes before school pickup time.

Place in a bowl, or in the buttery jug of your Thermomix, 125 grams of butter and three quarters of a cup of sugar. Now you may recall me making a mental note to find out what rapadura was. I found out, and it’s tree huggers sugar. You gently squeeze the cane stalks, lay out the juice in hemp trays in the sun of the summer solstice, then crunch up the resulting solids and sell it to hippies who are convinced it’s much more healthy than evil imperialist white sugar. Anyway, I procured some and used it the first time I made these biscuits. Dear reader, it doesn’t cream with butter very well. You can’t always substitute it for sugar. But this biscuit is a fairly textural thing, so it’s OK, and it has a distinctive flavour that goes really well with the malt. The upshot is, I used half a cup of rapadura and a quarter or a cup of raw sugar. Also add an egg. Cream the lot together. The problem with doing it in the Thermomix is that the isn’t enough of it to use the butterfly, and it’s too dense to really mix up well. The blades make little tunnels in the mix, thus

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It mixed it well enough to be going on with. Now add a cup and a quarter of plain flour, half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, half a cup of oats (I’m using the Honest to Goodness five grain mix) and half a cup of malted milk powder. That’ll cancel out the rapadura, the organic grains and the homemade butter. Actually, it doesn’t look too bad, it seems to be mainly powdered malt and powdered milk. I am still looking for a source of malt syrup, so one day this recipe will live up to my homemade ideals.

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Mix it all up. If you’re using the Thermomix, remember to put it on reverse, otherwise you’ll chop up all your oats. Blob large pinches of it onto a lined baking tray. They’ll flatten out. Bake at 160 degrees for about twenty minutes, or until they start to go golden. It makes a solid, flavoursome, slightly crunchy biscuit. I should mention that the recipe came from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 book, but as soon as i get the malt syrup sorted, she’s getting no further credit.

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Extra Chocolatey Brownies. With Extra Chocolate

I was going to tell you an amusing story about my early morning encounter with a range of neighbourhood pets, but it was thirty six hours ago now and the immediacy is gone. It also reflects poorly on my housekeeping and anyway the swelling has started to subside. So instead I’ll be telling you about a new brownie recipe I tried on the weekend. It was very chocolatey.

There are so very many brownie recipes, not all of them very good, so once you have a tried and tested one that is fairly well received it’s hard to deviate from it. But I trust Tish Boyle, and I’d been waiting for a party or something to try her Double Chocolate Brownies out on because it looked so rich. This weekend there was such an event, there were two little nieces with birthdays this week, so a family gathering was called.

This is a walkover for the Thermomix, but if you don’t have one you could always mess about with double boilers and bowls and such. Melt together 150 grams of terrific chocolate (I’m using 70% Callebaut drops) with 180 grams of sweet butter. I’m not game yet to use my homemade butter on such a butter rich recipe, we’ll work our way up. I’ve used it in an oatmeal biscuit and it was completely acceptable. In the Thermomix you put the temperature on about 60 degrees and set it going for about four minutes on speed two. Or however long it takes to melt.

You then need to crack out your KitchenAid and slot in the whisk. If you’re doing the lot the Thermomix, scoop out the chocolate butter mix into a bowl, wash the jug and dry it. Stick in the butterfly. Beat together three eggs, a cup of caster sugar, a third of a cup of brown sugar and two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Beat it oh so very much, you won’t be doing this with a fork. After some minutes it will be thick and light coloured and will form a ribbon dripping from the whisk when you lift the KitchenAid head. Pour in the chocolate mixture. For me it sank straight to the bottom, meaning that mixing it gently with the paddle had little to no effect. Use a wooden spoon. Add a cup of white flour and fold that gently in. Stir in 180 grams of chocolate bits, you could use the same brand as you melted earlier or something lighter. Scrape the lot into a lined nine inch square cake pan.

In theory you could bake it at 160 degrees Celsius for almost an hour, or until the skewer test says that it’s done. In practise you could put up with the Horror from Outer Space hopping up and down beside you saying “shouldn’t we go now shouldn’t we go now shouldn’t we go now we’re going to be late shouldn’t we…” for as long as you can stand, in my case about half an hour – my stamina has built up over the years, take it out of the oven half cooked and finish baking it at your sister’s place.

The what I recommend you don’t do is haul it out of the pan and immediately attempt to cut it up so that people can start eating it. It isn’t interested. It will sag and crumble. That didn’t stop about a third of it being eaten before it cooled down. Cool it completely, and maybe even wait a day. Then it will look like this.

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It’s got a crunchy crust and a very rich and dense inside, but not wet or too fudgy. The high cocoa chocolate was perfect for this, it’s just gorgeous. You really could leave out the extra chocolate chips and bung in walnuts or nothing at all and it would still be a commanding presence in the brownie lexicon. However it’s no good for the schoolgirl figure at all. Perhaps if I ice my ankle some more I could go to the gym in the morning.

Another Banana Recipe

It turned out fine in the end, though it was touch and go for a while. There does seem to be an infinite amount of permutations to the banana cake recipe, but this one was a bit further out than most and I lost concentration half way through, as you do. It’s another one from the Black and White cookbook. I can sell you one if you’d like.

The Muffet only likes to eat bananas in company, so we have a surfeit of them from when the German girl came to stay. This morning I had six small spotty bananas, each with a halo of vinegar flies, begging to be put in a cake. I thought to myself, I thought, I’ll do a nice healthy banana loaf with half of those and something fancy with the other half.

The something fancy is a banana, raspberry and almond cake. The recipe suggest a bundt tin, but honestly, who has one of those? Well, I do actually, but I’m going to be making these in muffin form. Stuff gets a lot more eaten in muffin form.

You start off by creaming 200 grams of butter with a cup of caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add a couple of eggs, beating after each addition. Stir in a large banana, or two small bananas in this case, and a half a cup of sour cream. Or some leftover creme fraiche from last week’s Thermomix demonstration and some accidental light sour cream. Stir in two and a half cups of flour and half a cup of almond meal. What you should do at this point is also stir in five teaspoons of baking powder to make up for the fact that you don’t use self raising flour. Or you could just proceed to folding in a cup and a half of frozen raspberries. You have quite a stiff dough at this point. And I would recommend folding them in, don’t try using the KitchenAid.

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I got to the point of spooning them into the paper lined muffin tin before realising I’d left out the baking powder. So I heaved a deep sigh. And spooned in the baking powder. Of course with the raspberries already in there, you start breaking them up a fair bit when you mix that in. You could try cursing a bit. I didn’t find it helped, but it relieved the tension a little. Not as much as eating a handful of chocolate bits did.

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Spoon the mixture into lined muffin tins, I got eighteen out of it. Bake for about half an hour at 180 degrees. Notice halfway through that black spots are appearing on your muffins. Google fruitlessly for a bit. Decide to make sure they brown quite a lot. I’m guessing it was due to improperly mixed in baking powder, but I’ll never know for sure. The browning certainly helped, but they weren’t the most attractive things.

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I thought about icing them, but they were fairly strongly flavoured already. A dusting of icing sugar while still hot covers a multitude of sins. I do this by getting a chunk of icing sugar and rubbing it on a sieve over the muffins.

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I thought seriously about firing them from the event I’ll be taking them to tomorrow, but then I tasted one. The least attractive one. Rich, moist, delicious, what a flavour combination. The icing sugar on top had formed a crunchy crust. The Muffet ate two before I could wrestle them away from her. That’s going on my deadly sixty. Hang on, wrong show.

Passionfruit Slice

Another in my series of things I wouldn’t normally make for the purposes of testing out the Black and White cookbook. It’s not that I have anything against condensed milk, especially not in ice blocks, but it just doesn’t seem right in a slice. We shall see.

For the base, mix together 125 grams of melted butter, a cup of desiccated coconut, a cup of flour, a third of a cup of caster sugar and two teaspoons of baking powder. Of course, I did the shredding of the coconut and the melting and mixing in the Thermomix, but suit yourself. Press it into a lined roasting pan and bake for fifteen minutes at 180 degrees. It will just start to go golden.

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Then get on and make the topping. Mix together the contents of a tin of condensed milk (an almost four hundred gram tin), the contents of three passionfruit and a quarter of a cup of lemon juice or, in this case, lime juice because I have some and I like it. Once again, avail yourselves of the services of the Thermomix or any other mixing device you have handy. Like a wooden spoon.

Tip the topping onto the base and spread it evenly over. Bake it for a further ten to twelve minutes at one hundred and TWENTY degrees. A slow oven. Don’t let it even start to brown! Let it cool in the tin before cutting it up.

The verdict is that I really like the base. It would make a good cheesecake base, firm, crunchy, a little bit crumbly. And I think the topping would have been better, but a lot more fiddly as a cheesecake. It is reminiscent of cheesecake. I like it, the Muffet likes it, the Horror thinks it is too passiony. As if there is such a thing. And then he went on to eat the remaining three fresh passionfruit.

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It firms right up, but I wouldn’t make it in summer. If you transported it, it would have to have layers of baking paper separating the slices. I’m going to have to get over my completely understandable prejudice against condensed milk as a slice ingredient.

Somewhat Familiar Chocolate Slice

I know the Great Day that Isn’t a Fair at the boys’ school isn’t for months, but I’m all inspired. You see, there was a cookbook produced. With very high production values. It looked so good that everyone got very excited and ordered enough copies to be printed for about ten per family. And what do you know, they didn’t all sell. So to encourage a bit of movement we’re going to bake some recipes from the book and sell them at the cake stall alongside the book.

Of course the recipes were all tested at production time, but us cake stall mavens would like to know how they taste and if they’d be better in muffin form, if they’d travel, if they’d be better at the coffee stall and if half of them really do require a tin of condensed milk. I do love this kind of challenge, so I’m starting with a chocolate slice.

I’m making it in the Thermomix. It isn’t difficult to convert recipes to the Thermomix. The first thing you do is look through the ingredients to see which ones need to be processed now that you’re buying everything in a less processed state. It’s only coconut, so I weigh 90 grams of coconut flakes into the jug and process them until they’re approaching crumb level, way before they turn into flour.

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Tip out the coconut and put 150 grams of butter in the jug. Melt it by setting it to 100 degrees and put it on for two minutes at speed three. Slide in a tablespoon of golden syrup. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Put in the coconut, a tablespoon of cocoa, half a cup of sugar, a cup of flour and two teaspoons of baking powder. AND a cup of lightly crushed cornflakes. Yes, that’s a little off putting, isn’t it. Mix it all together by a quick zap in the Thermomix. It’s all a bit crumbly.

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Press it into a lined baking dish and bake at 180 degrees for about twenty minutes. The recipe suggests waiting until the base is cool until icing it, but I didn’t. Make the icing by putting 180 grams of caster sugar in the freshly washed and dried Thermomix jug and zap it on speed nine for about twenty seconds to turn it into icing sugar. Add in two tablespoons of cocoa powder, thirty grams of softened butter and a tablespoon and a half of boiling water. Zap it at about speed four for about ten seconds until it’s all combined, then spread it on the slice base. It’s quite a thin layer of icing. While the icing is still soft sprinkle it with desiccated coconut.

It will crunchify over an hour or so, so hold off cutting it up until then.

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I had to try a piece for testing purposes and you know what? I’ve had it before. It’s one of those vaguely chocolate slices that turn up when you bring a plate to school morning tea for new parents. I can see why you’d make it, it’s easy, it holds together well enough to go in a lunchbox, it has a good texture, nobody’s going to accuse you of using cornflakes. I guess it’s just never really made me go “wow, I really need to find out how to make this!” like lemon slices do. Muffet said she’d prefer it with a softer base before asking for another piece. I’ll wait to see how the boys like it before adding it to the personal repertoire, but it could definitely be assigned to the coffee stall. Or I could take it to a school morning tea.

Honey Roll Cake

Back in the Seventies, when I was a nipper, baked goods either came from adding water to the contents of a packet, or from the bakery. In my case, Bertoldo’s Bakery. Our favourite ever cake from there was the inaccurately named Honey Roll. The Women’s Weekly cookbook Sweet Old-fashioned Favourites has a terrific recipe for it, and I made it today for the cake stall at the Great Fair at the Muffet’s school tomorrow.

Except I can’t do a roll. I’ve tried. I’ve failed numerous times, it always breaks. I need someone to actually demonstrate, and don’t direct me to YouTube, I don’t like watching video on the computer, it’s just a thing. So I make this one as a filled cake.

Cream together 60 grams of butter and three quarters of a cup of golden syrup. Mix in one and a quarter cups of plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. Also mix in teaspoons of ginger, one teaspoon of cinnamon, three quarters of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves. I keep the cloves and nutmeg whole and grind them as needed. I grate the nutmeg with a Microplane and the cloves in really small quantities in the trusty old coffee grinder. I don’t use cloves much. Stir in two eggs. Mix one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with a quarter of a cup of boiling water and stir it into the cake batter.

I’ve tried making one large cake and slicing in half and making two thin cakes, and I prefer the latter, especially as I do have twin round cake tins. It will be much neater if you grease the two tins, but I wasn’t in the mood, so lined them rather carelessly with baking paper. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t get it exactly even. Bake them until they’re really quite dark, about twenty minutes at 180 degrees, but do test them with a skewer.

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Meanwhile you do the challenging bit. I don’t know if you’ve had a honey roll, but it’s filled with a delicious confection that isn’t cream. You could whip some cream until it’s very stiff with some icing sugar and sandwich the cake with that, but it wouldn’t be right. You should really make Washed Mock Cream.

Beat together 125 grams of sweet butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, a tablespoon of honey and half a cup of caster sugar. Beat it good. I have done this with hand held beater, but I am enjoying it more with the KitchenAid. Don’t try it with a fork, seriously. When it’s light and fluffy, cover the mix with cold water.

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Shake it for a minute, then drain the water off. Beat again. Rinse and repeat until you’ve done it six times and the mix is nearly white. In the middle of the process is will look like cottage cheese.

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You need to beat it fairly severely towards the end to get it to coalesce again, it will be about the texture of cream cheese, still spreadable. Squash it onto the bottom cake, it will be a thick layer.

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Snuggle the top cake onto the cream. Dust the top liberally with desiccated coconut, press it down with your hand, it should stick a little.

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It has been boxed and delivered and I’m experiencing that hollow feeling of having sent a cake to a cake stall and never knowing what’s going to happen to it. What will they charge for it? Will it sell quickly? Will its new owner enjoy it? I should have written on the box that it keeps well and like most spice cakes is even better after a couple of days. I’m over thinking it, aren’t I.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake in the Thermomix

I don’t usually make cakes, they don’t survive lunch boxes and inevitably require the use of a napkin. But a special birthday requires a special cake and so it was that yesterday I found the perfect cake recipe for a brother in law who is refusing to turn fifty and it seemed like a recipe written specifically for a Thermomix.

It’s a recipe from Nigella’s How to Eat and I first made it back when my sister was editing a minor newsletter for one of those tiny companies that seem to splinter off fund managers from time to time and it had a recipe section. She would source the recipe and I would make it and photograph it for the newsletter and in this case take the finished product in to the kids’ school’s staffroom where it was gratefully demolished.

To make it in a Thermomix, you bung in the jug 250 grams of dark chocolate, 250 grams of sweet butter, one hundred grams of caster sugar, ninety grams of muscovado sugar (or some sugar that isn’t white), two tablespoons of framboise liqueur (shout yourself, you can always put it in champagne at a later date when you want to feel fancy), and 350 ml of water into which two teaspoons of instant coffee have been dissolved. Nigella suggested 370ml, which is a cup and a half, but I did that last time and found the resulting cake a bit too wet. It is supposed to be puddingy, but I don’t want it falling apart. I may have actually used 340 ml, I just took about half a centimetre off the top of the cup and half cup measures. It was much better. I also used 70% cocoa chocolate this time as opposed to the supermarket variety 55%, and it could have stood a touch more sugar. It was rich and authoritative however, and I’d probably leave it alone. Have it with ice cream if you want more sweetness.

Having put all of this gluttony in the jug, put it on 50 degrees for eight minutes on speed two. I’ve tried melting chocolate at higher speeds but it just chucks it up the walls of the jug. That should get everything melted together. If you’re groaning under the absence of a Thermomix you can melt it all together in a heavy based saucepan or a double boiler, and you’ll even have to stir it yourself. When it’s melted put in the butterfly attachment and beat in two eggs for one minute on speed three. Add thirty grams of cocoa powder, one hundred and eighty grams of plain flour (a cup and a half) and three teaspoons of baking powder. Beat again for one minute at speed three. Take off the lid and have a poke around with the spatula to make sure there aren’t any lumps. It should be a runny mixture looking, as the Moose commented, like melted chocolate. Are you sure you’re making a cake, Mum, not just a giant chocolate?

Grease a 22cm round springform cake tin. I usually line things with baking paper, but this one you want greased. I do it by rubbing it over with a cold stick of butter, get right into the edges. Or as you please. Pour half the mix into the cake tin, making sure you’ve got the spring bit closed and the bottom sitting snugly. Sprinkle over 250 grams of raspberries, you’d be mad not to use frozen ones from Serbia. If you want to use fresh ones, use them as decoration on top where they’ll be appreciated. Pour over the rest of the mix, making sure no cheeky raspberries are poking out. Bake at 180 degrees for about forty five minutes. The top should stay flat and develop cracks when it’s cooked, thus:

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It looks rather nice sprinkled with icing sugar. It is very rich, so I served it with whipped cream. Having only ever made whipped cream with a bowl and a whisk and plenty of wrist action I was very surprised to see how quickly cream thickens in the Thermomix. Honestly, don’t let it go more than about twenty seconds, you’ll get butter, which will be entertaining, but of no use to you as an accompaniment.

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I’ve still got three pieces left. I do wonder whether I should find out if gets better with age as some chocolate cakes do, or just have them for lunch?

Hazelnut Meringue Biscuits, Brutti Ma Buoni

I first came across these biscuits around the corner from where I live. They were in the diabetes inducing three level four metre counter of the Italian pasticceria that is famous throughout Sydney for its ricotta cakes. I pointed at a brown knobbly looking biscuit and asked the girl behind the counter what it was called. With typical Italian courtesy and willingness to please she said “I dunno. I think it’s got hazelnuts in it”. I have since discovered that it is often called Brutti Ma Buoni because it looks like something that might be produced by a bilious owl but it tastes so good I’ve wanted to make it ever since I had my first five.

It’s the kind of biscuit that needs machinery to make, so as I’m still slightly surprised to be operating in a kitchen that actually has machinery it has taken me until now to get around to it. I found a recipe in the Guardian concatenated with the recipe for panettone I had a few weeks ago and it looked plausible. I needed to accumulate some egg whites.

I didn’t have anything much to do this morning except convert the choir accounts into a new format, so I thought I’d do that after lunch. The cupboard is bare yet again due to the Muffet corralling all the baked goods to share with her friends at school to celebrate her birthday. Knowing I wanted to have egg whites left over I made lemon cornmeal biscuits and had a crack at kourabiedes for the first time which left me with two egg whites. Enough for twelve biscuits. I really could make them half the size, but they do end up being very light.

I put the egg whites in the clean dry KitchenAid bowl, having learned my lesson about that more than once, you think it would stick. Put on the whisk attachment and got it whipping. The whites had to get to firm peaks and you really can’t get there without collapsing from boredom if you do it by hand. I know how foremothers had to, but I really can’t be bothered. It takes ages, even in the KitchenAid. Perhaps I should have had it on a faster setting.

Meanwhile I placed a half a teaspoon of cocoa powder, fifty grams of hazelnuts, a hundred grams of blanched almonds and a hundred grams of caster sugar in the Thermomix. The recipe suggests a coarse grind, so I resist the urge to zap it into oblivion.

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I check the egg whites, they’re getting there. I check my mail and a Facebook argument I seem to be in about gay marriage and by the time I hop back into the kitchen they look like this:

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Which is just right. I carefully fold in the nut mix plus fifty grams of hazelnuts I’ve meticulously cut in half – I think whole ones are a bit too robust for this light biscuit. I always feel a little sad hearing those tiny bubbles pop as the nuts get folded in, but there’s no help for it.

Plop tablespoonsful of the mix onto a baking paper line baking sheet, you should get about twelve out of this amount. I would have made more, but I don’t like having bits of egg left over, it upsets my sense of symmetry. I’d have had to have made a custard or something, and then I’d just have to eat it. Bake at 180 degrees for about ten minutes, or until they’re just starting to colour around the edges. You need to let them cool completely before getting stuck in. See what I mean about how they look?

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Perhaps more a duck than an owl, but definitely avian. Gosh they’re delicious though,

Raspberry Linzer Thingo

There are still many recipes in Tish Boyle’s The Good Cookie that I want to try and I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I’ll tell you at the outset that it tastes fantastic, but it’s no good at all. Have a go at it after I’ve gone through a few iterations. It’s a texture thing.

I’m going to give you the recipe anyway. Grind together half a cup of slivered almonds, half a cup of hazelnuts and half a cup of caster sugar. If you have a terrific almost brand new blender, this will take seconds. If your almost brand new blender is taking a holiday in Western Australia you’ll need to do this in four batches in your twenty year old coffee grinder. I’m not bitter. Much.

In your far more reliable KitchenAid, mix 270 grams of butter with a third of a cup of brown sugar. I think this may be my problem. The recipe specifies 9 tablespoons of butter, and I’m using a conversion of thirty grams to the tablespoon. What kind of measurement is a tablespoon? Crazy Americans. Anyway, it’s clearly too much. Next time I make this, and I will, I’ll be using significantly less butter. Maybe just 200 grams. We’ll see. Beat in an egg. Beat in the ground nuts and sugar mixture, also half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a quarter of a teaspoon of almond essence. Don’t mess with the flavours, they’re just right. Add one and a half cups of plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, one quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves (you want them very finely ground, they’re very strong), and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt. Mix it up until it just comes together.

The second problem is that this is a very large amount of dough. The recipe suggests pressing two thirds of it into a lined square cake tin, spreading it with raspberry jam, then messing about with cutting the rest into strips and doing a fancy lattice arrangement on top with them. Because the dough was so soft with all the butter, the strips just blobbed in to each other. That’s another reason I think the butter measurement was wrong. I think next time I’d spread the dough out into a larger slice pan and possibly still do the lattice thing with the firmer dough. You’d need more than half a cup of raspberry jam, so buy more than one jar. Bake it at 160 degrees for about thirty five minutes.

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You can see that it’s very soft, but the taste is sensational. It’s definitely going in my morning tea repertoire. Once I get it right.

Edited to note that a friend has very kindly pointed out, restraining herself from all forms of mockery, that a tablespoon is only fifteen grams. Doesn’t that explain a lot? In my very poor defence, I was clearly thinking of an oz. What better illustration could there be for the adoption of SI units?

Banana bread

Tough enough to slice and toast, to survive a lunchbox, not enough fat to count as a cake and an excellent afternoon tea for growing kiddies. Banana bread, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it yet.

First, take two squishy bananas. Hang on a minute, where did they go? I do think that in this age where everything is glossed over and practised and polished and photoshopped it is time for a little honesty. There I was, all ready to make banana bread. But the squashy bananas that were at their bread making peak were gone. There was only one explanation. The cleaners had chucked them in the bin. I love never having to mop my own floors, but I do think that the rubbish sorting message is not getting through to the more recent arrivals to our shores, including those with the invidious job of cleaning my house. They have in the past chucked my compost, school notes, all the recycling, odd socks, coat hangers and a cheque in the red bin. This time they had gone too far. I marched out to the bin, dear reader, and retrieved those two bananas. Yes, I did. They were still in their skins after all, but I rinsed them anyway and you’d never know what a traumatic few days they’d had. Don’t tell my children.

So, take two bananas that have had a hard week and liberate them from their blackened skins into a mixing bowl. If you happen to have a KitchenAid, then get it beating at a reasonable speed and those bananas will be squashed into oblivion, leaving no unexpected chunks. Then you can toss in all the other ingredients. These are, in no particular order, two cups of flour, four teaspoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of mixed spice, three quarters of a cup of brown sugar, a quarter of a cup of wheat germ, a quarter of a cup of milk that the kids are complaining is starting to smell a bit off (or buttermilk), 60 grams of softened butter and two eggs. Mix it up and scrape it into a baking paper lined loaf tin. Bake at one hundred and fifty degrees Celsius for about an hour and half.

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Fills those tummies and uses up the fruit that I’m pretty sure they don’t eat on purpose so I’ll make it into banana bread.