Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Jo Wheatley's Banana loaf

Ohhhhhh I'm a naughty girl!  Its been ages since I've had a chance to bake and blog and when I do I go and adapt a recipe.  The shame of it!

A couple of birthdays last week gave me the excuse to bake some cakes, plus I had a dozen of Cathy's lovely chickens eggs to use.  They made some fantastic pancakes on Shrove Tuesday from Jo Wheatley's 'A Passion for Baking' Book and this time I chose to make her Banana loaf for my friend Raph.

In the book recipe you use 100g demerara sugar and 150g soft light brown sugar.  You are meant to top the cake batter with pecans and cinnamon before baking, but I chose to mix 100g of dark chocolate chips into the batter instead.

I used my trusty new Kenwood hand-mixer for all the whisking and mixing.

Rather than make one 2lb loaf, I decided to make 6 muffins and one 1lb loaf, so divided the mixture accordingly.

The muffins were baked in a static 170c oven for 30 minutes

and the 1lb loaf for 50 minutes.

They both worked out rather nicely I'm pleased to say!  It was also my Mum's birthday over the weekend and two things she loves are dark chocolate and ginger.  What better excuse then, to make a chocolate ginger cake.  I found the recipe in the Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes Book.

I can't link the recipe, but you can pretty much take any chocolate cake recipe and add 100g of chopped up stem ginger, plus add 3 tbls of the syrup to the batter.

I needed to slice the top off to make a more even surface for the icing.

The simple icing consisted of 100g of dark chocolate and 100g of finely chopped crystallised ginger.

The chocolate was melted in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water and the ginger was stirred into it.

Slather all over the top of your cake and allow to cool.  Then demolish!  Its seems to have been well received!

Happy Baking!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Kyla Hat

Well I seem to have steamed through January using yarn and patterns from my ever so large amount of stash.  Now I feel nice and virtuous as its not so large!  Well, only a very teeny bit less, but who's counting!

Whilst waiting to cast-on a new pair of socks for the UK Sock Knitters KAL on Ravelry, I thought it was high time I knit myself a snazzy new hat.  Looking through my patterns, I decided on Kyla, a nice cabled hat that can be made in a sleek beanie style or a more slouchy hat.  I went for the beanie option and chose some Stylecraft Luxury Merino I had leftover from knitting a cardigan a while back.


Despite using a cable needle, it knitted up quickly and I'm really pleased with the results.

The yarn has a nice sheen to it and really shows up the pattern well.  Lets hope the weather stays cold, so I can get lots of wear out of it!

And it was all finished in time ready for me to cast-on my Icicle socks.  For this pattern, I'm learning how to knit with beads.  Scary stuff, but hopefully the effect will be worth it!

Happy knitting!

For more FO Fridays posts, head over to Tami Ami's blog.