Saturday, October 26, 2013

Banana Loaf/Cake

You know you're on to a good thing when you can stay loyal to a recipe for decades. I've been making this banana loaf for so many years that I no longer remember where it originated and I could probably make it with my eyes closed. Hmm that could be an interesting experiment.

As for other kinds of cakes, such as carrot cake, I haven't been so loyal. I've been a bit of a recipe slut, so to speak. I have tried so many versions of carrot cakes and none have satisfied me enough to become a staple recipe yet. None that I would make twice, let alone make every couple of months.

It's really handy to have a favourite staple cake recipe, one that you know is reliable and tastes great. My banana loaf recipe has been that number one go-to recipe for me. It's moist and sweet and has the texture of cake, so I'll often double the mixture and bake it in a round tin and it will double as a cake. It tastes great with or without frosting so is great if you need to whip up a quick celebration cake or just want to eat it plain with a cup of tea. I hadn't shared it on my blog earlier because I thought it was too simple and surely everyone already has a decent banana cake recipe in their repertoire. But if you don't, I really recommend you give this one a go, I hope you'll love it as much as I do.

Anyone else have a favourite go-to baking recipe? An old reliable favourite? The kind that you can whip up in no time if you suddenly are expecting guests and  really can't be arsed faffing about with a new or complicated recipe.



3 large bananas
1/3 cup melted butter (80g)
1 cup white sugar (225g)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 cups flour (approx 190g)


Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius ( 350 Fahrenheit)

Mash the bananas well. Mix in the melted butter. Stir until well combined.

Add the beaten egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix.

Add the flour, baking soda and sat. Mix.

Pour into a medium-sized loaf tin (22x11cm)

Bake for approx 50 minutes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Orange Polenta Cookies

Polenta is a versatile ingredient, I love using it in both savoury and sweet dishes. My first success in using it for sweet baking was when when I made this cake. At first I had been sceptical thinking it was just a novelty but the polenta does add a nice dimension to sweet baking. In cakes it absorbs moisture and creates a wonderful crumb and it gives cookies a wonderful short texture with a great crunch. It's definitely worth trying.

This recipe I'm sharing is a quick and easy way to try it for yourself. The cookies a reminiscent of shortbread, yet are more dense and textured. The added orange zest gives them a fresh tang and the polenta gives them a unique texture and taste. For such a simple recipe, the results are very impressive.

Orange Polenta Cookies


125g butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
110g (2/3 cup) icing sugar
55g (1/3) cup instant polenta, or extra fine polenta
150g (1 cup) plain flour


Beat together the butter, orange rind and icing sugar until smooth.
Mix in the polenta and flour.
Knead the mixture then roll it into a log; cut it into 1cm slices.
Place the slices on a greased or lined oven tray, place them 2cm apart.
Bake them for approx 15 minutes at 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
Makes approx 20-30