Banana Bread

I am not crazy about bananas. I mean, I go absolutely bonkers for mangos, avocados, berries and lots of other fruit and veg, but bananas? I mean I like them. And I do eat them a lot. They are so handy to carry, filling and they taste nice enough. So I have never even thought about doing anything else with bananas than just simply eat them.

But.. then I found banana bread!

I mean I tried it a few years ago, while travelling abroad (it is not hugely popular or known here in Switzerland) and I remember thinking ‘Oh! That’s actually quite nice’. But then I forgot about it again and the years flew by until I started to have a food blog.

Yes, my blog helped me rediscover banana bread. Well, to be more precise it was you people with all your wonderful blogs and personal recipes for banana bread. I knew that I had to try it again. Plus I had a really old banana in my fruit basket that REALLY needed to be used (not the one in the pictures obviously, the one I used was way older).

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So as usual I went rumaging recipes that suited the ingredients in my larder and found a great and simple recipe on BBC Good Food. I really love this website, I always find what I am looking for there, it’s very well explained and usually has the basic recipes too. Just my taste.

Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 mini loaf (1/4 of a normal cake size)
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
70g butter
70g caster sugar
1 egg beaten
70g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 very ripe banana, mashed
20g white chocolate chips

Directions
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2. Then add the egg and the flour and mix well.
3. Add the baking powder and banana and combine with the mixture.
4. Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake in the preheated oven at 180° for about 25 minutes.

This might just be my last ‘normal’ recipe for this year. Christmas season is around the corner (or for some it has already started) and I am truly itching to get started with my Christmas baking. I bet I will be gaining at least 5kg this winter. Good thing I have just joined the gym (I had to really, ever since I started this blog, my trousers have somewhat shrunk). And I am going in at full throttle. Tomorrow I get a 2.5 hours fitness level assessment. Oh dear. I better eat some more of that banana bread to drum up some courage. But don’t worry, in case I will disappear from this blog for a while, I might just be standing in a corner catching my breath (probably lying in a corner gasping, more like). Better eat some more banana bread…

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Tiramisu inspired Swiss Roll

Where have I been?

Good question. I am not sure myself.

But do you know these times, when time is always running low, when you should do this and that and in fact, your energy is just enough for half of your chores? Well that’s kinda what it was like in the past few weeks. So I shamefully admit, that I have neglected my blog and you wonderful people. This shall now change (but let’s keep our fingers crossed for this anyway).

To show you how sorry I am, I have made you a new cake. Well it’s actually a Swiss Roll (eventhough I am Swiss, I have no idea why this one is called Swiss Roll). I adapted the recipe from Katerina’s blog Diethood. She made a wonderful Tiramisu Cake Roll and I just had to try it for myself. But being me, I changed a few bits and bobs and took another recipe for the sponge.

141111 Tiramisu Swiss Roll Cake

Tiramisu inspired Swiss Roll

  • Servings: 1 roll
  • Time: 1h15mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients for the dough
70g sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp hot water

3 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp sugar
70g flour

1 tsp cocoapowder
1/2 tsp water

Ingredients for the syrup
1dl of coffee
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp coffee liquor

Ingredients for the filling
250g mascarpone cheese
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cocoa
1 tbsp coffee liquor
120ml chilled heavy cream

Cocoa for Dusting

Directions for the dough
1. Mix sugar, water and the egg yolks with a handmixer for about 5 minutes, until frothy.
2. In a different bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt stiff. Add the sugar and whisk until shiny.
3. Gently fold flour and beaten egg whites by layers into the egg yolk mix.
4. Take approx. 3 tbsp from the mixture and leave it in a cup.
5. Spread the remaining mixture 5mm thick and rectangular onto a baking tray.
6. In the meantime mix the cocoa and water with the mixture in the cup.
7. Now pipe the cocoa mix onto the rectangular mix to create a nice pattern. I used a fondue fork to pull a pattern.

Bake in the preheated oven at 220° for about 6 minutes. Once cooked immediatley take the tray out of the oven and turn the cake onto a new baking sheet. With a wet towel gently caressing over the old backing paper try and remove it from the cake. Once removed roll the cake with the new baking paper into a round form and leave to cool entirely.

Directions for the syrup
1. Mix the coffee with the sugar.
2. Once cooled add the liquor, mix well and set aside.

Directions for the filling
1. Combine mascarpone, cinnamon, cocoa and coffee liquor in a large bowl
2. Beat together until thoroughly combined.
3. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until very stiff.
4. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined.
5. Set aside for later.

Assembling the Swiss Roll
1. Unroll the cake and remove the baking paper.
2. Lightly brush the inner cake with the syrup. Be sure not to soak it or use too little.
3. Spread the filling on the inside of the cake. Making sure to leave a rim of about 2cm all around and to spread it evenly.
4. Gently roll the cake back up.
5. Trim the edges and dust some cocoa powder on top (if desired).

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I shall bring this roll to tomorrow’s Fiesta Friday. I’ve been longing to participate again. Then although this blog was quiet, I was still following up what you all were up to. So already happy Friday!

Florentines

What’s the best cookie in the world? Hell ye, florentines! I like every possible version of it. Mine are similar to what my mum used to make for Christmas, gooey, sweet and a little crunchy. But then you get the store bought versions with are cruuunchy! So crunchy. I like them too. I don’t actually know which way they are supposed to be like, but it doesn’t matter, there are chocolate and nuts in all of them.

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So it’s been about time that I tried to make them myself (yup I usually only eat them, never make them). I guess if there is something you like above everything else it’s hard to match those memories by attempting your own version. But I just had to go for it. I have recently seen quite a few versions of my fellow bloggers and it inspired me to try my own. And yes, it’s safe to say it was a success. So happy to share this recipe with you.

Florentines

  • Servings: 30 cookies
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1,5 dl cream
1 tsp honey
100g sugar
100g candied fruit, minced
50g almond slivers
50g flaked almonds

2-3 tbsp flour

125g milk chocolate

1. First bring the butter, cream, honey and sugar slowly to the boil.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer gently while adding the candied fruit, and the two types of almonds.
3. Mix well and simmer for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the flour and keep stirring until the paste thickens.
5. Take off the heat and use two teaspoons to spoon the mixture onto the baking tray.
6. Leave plenty of room between cookies as the mixture will spread.
7. Try and press the spooned mixture down a little bit.

Bake in the preheated oven at 220°  for about 5 minutes. Keep a constant eye on them, 1 minute more and they might already be burned.

When cooled down a bit, melt the chocolate and dip one side of the florentines into it. Leave to cool completely.

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You have probably noticed, that it’s been a bit quiet on my blog recently. It’s because I am back at Uni (a mature student as they say, or just a plain old spinster as I say ;-) ). Well sort of, I’ve been doing Open University courses for a few years now. Slowly scuffle towards my BA in English and Literature. I try, but then what do they say? The journey is the reward. I do enjoy learning, but then on other days I have a big questionmark hanging over my head. “Hark! What dost Shakespeare mean?” So these cookies are the best way to calm down again. Bring my sugarlevels up and after florentines and a cup of tea knuckle back down and get it over with. ;-)

So to all my fellow students, bake these and you will feel better. Promise!

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I will be bringing these treasures to Angies Fiesta Friday tomorrow. It’s no problem, you can keep these yummies in a tin for a few weeks. But really, they never last that long. So here is a thank you to you Angie, for organising this wonderful party every week. Here’s a very gratefully little blogger.

 

Pear and Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

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I have been thinking about autumn dishes and bakes recently. I mean there is the obvious pumpkin and apple, mushrooms and chestnuts. But what about that tasty little fruit that always has to take a back seat because of the much favoured apple? Well yes, it’s the pear. Obviously, right? I am not sure why apples are often favoured over pears. Pears are juicy, have a lovely flavour, wonderful colour, look pretty, have less acidity than apples (well at least that’s what my taste buds tell me) and are quite versataile too. So it beats me as to why this is a bit of a forgotten fruit…

But maybe it’s the fond memories of pears I have, that makes them so appealing. I grew up in an old farmhouse on the countryside. I mean it was old. Literally. We still heated with wood, warming our hot chocolate on the stove in the morning (my dad, that is) and freezing in winter when we had to get out of bed (no one kept putting logs into the stove at night) and the heating wasn’t working just yet. But this just boosted our immune systems. I only remember one time when I was really sick with fever in my entire childhood (the other times I was just being a softy, complaing when I was in fact quite alright). Apart from that we had a huge garden we could use with apple, damsom plum trees, strawberries, raspberries, black berries, red berries (so many my parents actually made wine with them), gooseberries and many more and of course lots of vegetables (we even had a small potato field). All these lovely delicacies were in the backyard and towering over our house in the front was a huge pear tree. Although the pears were just cooking pears it was one of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen. Old and sturdy housing hedgehogs in autumn under it’s large quantities of fallen leaves and providing much needed shade to our car in summer. Simply full of life. So yes, I am very fond of pears.

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So for all these reasons I really needed to celebrate the beautiful pear in my newest autumn bake.

Pear and Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

  • Servings: 15 cakes
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
40g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 small egg
25g butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp lemon juice
8g or 2 squares of milk chocolate (thinly cut or grated)
1 pinch of cinnamon
75g flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/2 pear, peeled and cut into squares

4 squares of white chocolate for decorating

1. Mix the sugar, vanilla sugar and egg in a bowl until frothy.
2. Add the butter and lemon juice and mix.
3. Add the flour, cinnamon, chocolate, baking powder and salt and mix well.
4. Add the pear squares and combine well.
5. Pipe into the prepared baking mould.

Bake at 200° in the preheated oven for about 16 minutes. When cooled, decorate with the white chocolate

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I think mine were ever so slightly overbaked. So I’ve ajusted the baking time for you. But I just love the combination of pear and chocolate in them. It is such a wonderful pairing and they’re bitesize so you get to snaffle the whole bunch at once. Yay.

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So here we go. I am bringing those lovely treats to today’s Fiesta Friday. Let me just shout another big THANK YOU to our lovely host Angie for always putting this party together. It’s such a nice way of meeting fellow bloggers and marvel at all the creativity that these bloggers have. If you don’t know it, go check it out. Well worth it every minute you spend on the internet.

That’s it from me today. I will go have a lie down now and dream about pear trees.

Pumpkin Risotto

Growing up I hardly remember any pumpking dishes on our plates. I only remember pumpkin soup. Only when I grew into my teens pumpkin became wider available and grew into a fashionable vegetable. I guess with the spreading of Halloween worldwide came the spreading of the scrumptious pumpkin. So even now, pumpkin feels sort of exotic to me and I only go so far as to integrate it into my well known dishes, I am not yet ready to explore it beyond my comfort zone.

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But being now part of this wonderful food blogger community, I see so many lovely dishes with pumpkin that I just had to try and share one as well. Risotto was actually the first dish I mastered to my liking when I had to cook for myself once moved out from home. To me, it’s the most simple dish there is. It never goes wrong and always tastes good. But then when I should do a simple sauce… fire and smoke, I am telling you.

Pumpkin Risotto

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

150g risotto rice
500ml hot water with dissolved vegetable stock
0.5ml white wine
50g pumpkin, diced, precooked
½ onion, diced
1 garlic glove, pressed

Shaved parmesan to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Fry the onion and garlic on a medium heat.
2. Add risotto rice after a few minutes and fry until glassy.
3. Deglaze by adding the white wine and let it simmer on a medium – low heat.
4. Once the wine is fairly absorbed start adding a little bit of the vegetable stock. Never add the whole 500ml at once, but a little bit and then more once that is absorbed.
5. Halfway through add the diced pumpkin.
6. You may need more or less of the prepared vegetable stock, just keep adding more until you feel the risotto tastes creamy and the rice corns are cooked.

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