Saturday, September 26, 2015

Banana Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf

This post is dedicated to Julias cousin, little Fynn, who decided on Thursday that it was time to join the family now. We are all still totally overwhelmed since we expected him to be born by the end of October. He and his mummy are absolutely fine and they are going home this weekend. Edi, Jacqueline, Julia and I are going to visit them in the hospital today and I thought, I'll bring along cake - a mother can always use some food. Best wishes go out to Janine, Dodo and Fynn. We are so proud!

(from the gorgeous "Love Bake Nourish" by Amber Rose)

100g raisins
80ml dark rum (or black tea or water)
175g wholegrain spelt flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
125g butter, melted
150g maple syrup
2 large eggs
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and flour a loaf tin (25 - 30cm).

Put the raisins and liquid in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the raisins are plump and swollen. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then drain off any of the remaining liquid.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the melted butter and maple syrup with an electric hand mixer until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a wooden spoon, then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the drained raisins and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well to combine each addition before adding the next.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife and bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes until turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cinnamon & Pecan Granola

I was very excited to have visitors from Britain over for brunch yesterday. As you know, I love collecting ideas and recipes for a buffet. Knowing that Julia would keep me from spending long periods in the kitchen, I tried to keep things simple and decided to prepare two kinds of bread and a granola mixture - things that could be made ahead easily. Other than that, we served cheese and meat, scrambled eggs, yogurt and fruit and so on. I really enjoyed preparing a meal for a few guests again since I hadn't done that in a long time. I was particularly happy that the homemade granola seemed to have been a hit. I've tried other granola recipes and I like this one very much. It's a healthy and delicious alternative to the store-bought mixtures and you can of course vary it according to your own taste. So I hope you'll enjoy this one and special greetings go out to England, we had a great time!


Makes one large container of granola.

2 and a 1/2 cups of oats
1 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of flax seeds
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of raisins
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
3 teaspoons of cinnamon

You can use any kind of cup.

Place the pecans and almonds in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds so that they are partially crushed. Then add them to a large mixing bowl with all the other dry ingredients, except the raisins and cinnamon, and stir together.

Next, melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup and cinnamon on the stove or in a small saucepan. Once it has dissolved into a sweet liquid add it to the dry bowl and mix well. This should form a delicious oaty nutty bowl, which is slightly sticky.

Place the mixture into a baking tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 180C, until crunchy. During this time you’ll need to stir the mixture to ensure that every bit of the granola gets nicely toasted and the top doesn’t burn.

Once the granola is cooked perfectly remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool, then stir in the raisins. Store the granola in an air-tight container to keep it wonderfully fresh and crunchy.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cookies

It's been ages since I last baked something with peanut butter. At some point after finishing my studies, I got over my "addiction". I stopped having a peanut butter sandwich every morning and the peanut butter jars disappeared from my cupboard. But when I was looking for a suitable treat for a saturday afternoon with a bunch of kiddies, I thought that these cookies might be a safe bet. And, of course, I had to stop myself from eating peanut butter from the jar with a spoon again… A huge thank you goes out to Susanne, her husband and their kids for a super fun afternoon. Hope to see you again soon!

(from Life is Sweet by The Hummingbird Bakery)

115g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
125g peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
165g plain flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
50g mini marshmallows or chopped larger marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line three large baking trays with parchment paper.

With an electric whisk, cream together butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and peanut butter to the mixture and beat for 2 more minutes. Sift together dry ingredients and add them to the butter-sugar-mixture. Beat on a lower speed for a few moments until all is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Fold in the marshmallows by hand.

Using a tablespoon, form the cookie dough into balls (weighing about 30g each). Place these balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 5cm between them.

Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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