Sticky Banana and Dark Chocolate Bread

Go on, it’s practically good for you!

Sweet, sticky, gooey, this tea-time loaf is a serious crowd pleaser. Made from mushed bananas, honey, and rich dark chocolate it’s full of goodness, and lots of those thingys with complicated names. Antioxidants? Yess that must be it! Oh and honey is full of B Vitamins, and bananas are full of potassium (I actually revised rather a lot for my Home Economics exam as you can hopefully tell) So you see, it’d be rude not to..

Adapted from a recipe from the amazing Chocolate Covered Katie which had been gathering dust in my ‘must bake’ pile for quite some time. Finally I took the plunge! She refers to her plain banana bread as ‘pajama banana bread’ meaning it would be delicious eaten in your pjs for breakfast. However, for me I take this to mean it would be perfect to bake in your pajamas, (which may I mention is one of my favourite things to do). Sadly I did not bake this bread in my pajamas today, we had visitors over, and I don’t think they’d have appreciated me lounging round the kitchen in my nightwear, even if I did supply them with freshly baked bread afterwards…

Yet I was allowed this luxury a few days ago, and I awoke bright and early, sort of, and began a ‘pajama bake-athon’. Yaaay!

Start time: 10ish. End time: well after 2ish. A morning well spent I  thought, and I was excited to see the look on mum’s face when she arrived home from work and spied the delicious treats I had made… She strode into the kitchen, took one look at my ginormous cake and mountain of cupcakes, and declared ‘Amy, I’m on a diet!!’ (I refrained from shouting, SINCE WHEN?!?)

Aww well, less cake for her meant more for my brother and dad.. a.k.a the human hoovers.

Sticky Banana and Dark Chocolate Bread

*adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c milk (or oil)
1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1 and 1/2 T lemon juice
1 T sugar
2 c tightly-packed, mashed banana
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.

2. In another bowl, combine all wet ingredients.

3. Add wet to dry, and fold in gently, don’t overmix.

4. Add chopped chocolate pieces and fold in.

5. Place in lined or greased loaf tin, and bake at 180oc for 5o mins.

*bread may start to brown on top, whilst still gooey inside, so cover in tin foil and continue to bake.

6. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Enjoy with a slather of butter, or simply plain if you’re trying to be truly good, and sip with a cup of coffee!

Enoy! x

Giant Jazzies

Giant Jazzies…. what are they and why are they so giant?

Hopefully you will have noticed that these are the yummy balls of chocolately goodness that adorn the top of my blog.. when I first made them, along with my mum and sister, it was the moment that made me finally decide that I needed to blog. I needed a space to share my love of baking, document all the recipes I constantly wish to remember and mostly, to rediscover my passion for yummy food.

I wouldn’t be here without my mum’s support and inspiration, which reminds me, please check out her blog @ Just A Blooming MinuteWe are currently engaged in a ‘Blog War’  of sorts and as much as it pains me, I would REALLY appreciate if you could pay her a visit, it would make her very happy, and make me love you all even more!

These yummies weren’t meant to be this ginormous. Really. Maybe we didn’t quite follow the recipe correctly, but they grew so huge that only 4 were created out of the whole recipe and to eat one alone was no mean feat. Trust me. You may want to make yours a little smaller…

Oh and I called them Jazzies cause it rhymes with Snazzy, obviously!

A perfectly simple and innocent looking recipe, the mixture is moulded around a marshmallow and dipped in whatever frosting or sparkly, jazzy coating you desire. Made from crushed biscuits, condensed milk and cocoa powder, these huge balls of pure indulgence are quite dangerous… That is why I give you pre-warning.. enjoy at your own peril! (and keep a glass of cold water nearby)

In other words, simply enjoy this delicious treat!

 

Giant Jazzies

12 digestive biscuits

57g coconut

small tin of condensed milk

57g margarine

57g cocoa powder

marshmallows

melted chocolate to coat and decorate

1. Crush biscuits in a large bowl, add coconut and chocolate.

2. Melt margarine and mix in.

3. Add condensed milk and mix well to make a sticky mixture.

4. Wet hands and press mixture around a marshmallow. Depending on what size you wish to make them, either use one large marshmallow for each, or for smaller jazzies, cut marshmallows in half.

5. Chill until well hardened. Then melt chocolate and dip jazzie until completely covered.

6. Coat in assorted sprinkles and sparkles.

* smaller jazzies could be turned into pops, by inserting a lollipop stick before chilling.

Get snazzy, and make some jazzies! hehe, enjoy!

xxx

Butterfly Pops

Finally I am free!

Today I put on my high school uniform for the very final time. Yesterday was my very last exam before summer.. geography. Human geography. A heck of a lot of facts came flowing out of my head, to my amazement, so thankfully the time I spent in between blogging and baking may just have been more productive than I thought!

And how did I spend my first few hours of freedom and unadulterated bliss? Browsing the cookery section of my small town’s surprisingly large department store of course!  Baking on the brain..

They say school days are the best days of your life.

I guess I sort of half-believed my English teacher when she chirped that every Monday morning.. but not so much when it was raining, or snowing, or so windy I looked like I’d fallen backwards through a bush on my way to class. On those many occasions, I’m sure I could have found a million other ways to better spend my days.

Yet she was right. It’s only now, as it finally dawns on me that people I have spent every single day with, shared the smallest and biggest moments together, stood by each other and held one another up, we won’t be together for very much longer. Because it’s not the cold dingy classrooms I’ll miss, or the mind-numbingly boring assembly, and most definitely not the assessments which stripped me of my social life for weeks on end.. oh no!

I’ll miss the smiles, the faces, the warmth, the family. We may have started to drift apart, or see each other differently as we grew. Innocent little girls can become seasoned gossipers and relationship ruiners. Guys can become, well jerks lets be honest! Though the bond you share with your high school year is a bond that is something very special, something worth savouring and holding on to.

So it’s with a smile, and a giggle and just a small tear I guess, that I wave goodbye to this high school, and I look towards  the next two years of my journey.. I will soon be spreading my wings.

(Please excuse the awful pun, and lets get onto those pops!)

These were my first encounter of the cake pop kind, and I guess I’m pretty happy with the outcome!

Relatively simple to make, though I’m afraid these little bites never come out as perfectly rounded and smoothly coated as the recipe books suggest, as is the case for most things I’ve found! But definitely worth trying, these little pops had my little sister and her friend standing in amazement and licking their lips.. Setting up this shot with so many pretty pink girly delights also had me quite excited too!

I recently came across flavoured chocolate buttons, the British equivalent to candy melts I’m guessing. Though I’ve heard they can be tastless? Well, let me tell you, these chocolate buttons were the yummiest type of chocolate I think I’ve come across!

Pink buttons = sweet strawberry flavour

Orange buttons = tangy orange flavour

They were simply scrumptious! Found myself eating a little too many before they made it to the melting stage.. woops! But i would definitely recommend you try and find some like these, a big sticky thumbs up!

If you would like to make your own Butterfly Pops you will need:

1 layer cake, cooled and crumbled

frosting (i used whatever i had leftover.. whatever takes your fancy!)

candy melts, or flavoured chocolate buttons for my British friends!

sugar paper for wings

I roughly followed this recipe from Bakerella

1. Mix cake crumbs and frosting in a large bowl until it starts to come together.

2. Get your hands messy, and start to bring the mixture together. Roll into small balls in the palm of your hand.

*mixture needs to be moist, but not TOO moist, or it will start to fall apart and come away from the stick.

3. Melt some chocolate, dip the end of a lollipop stick in it, and gently slide it into the cake pop, just under halfway.

4. Put in freezer to harden for a while. Then when firm, melt coating and swirl your cake pop in gently, coating all sides.

*chocolate will harden very quickly as pops have been in freezer!

5. I used a pencil to draw wings onto sugar paper, cut them out with scissors and scattered with sparkle dust.

6. Attach wings to cake pops using a small amount of extra chocolate.

Et voila! Hope you enjoy!

Happy Father’s Day

Just a quickie to say Happy Father’s Day to my lovely Daddy, and all the other fathers out there!

As you can see there were some cookies left over from yesterday’s dough disaster, but these were the slightly better bunch and this morning they were looking decidedly plain, and a little in need of icing…

Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to Sweetopias perfect icing recipe, I managed to get these bad boys decorated and looking slightly cute and yummy, ready for Father’s Day tea.

Mr J is chief cupcake tester and eagerly encourages me with each new delight I whip up.. he loves cake almost more than me!

Just glad I can brighten his day a little in some small way, after all he does for me!

Vanilla Cookies

“When things don’t go right…   go left.”

I have never been much of a sugar cookie girl me. I’ll happily eat them if you serve me up a plate, but I just find them much more hard work than the simplicity of whipping up a batch of cupcakes, or the type of cookies that will happily be splatted onto the tray! All that chilling, then rolling.. then chilling again really does take a LONG time.

What’s more I can never seem to get them the right thickness, or be able to pry them off the counter top without them ending up in bits.. or in my mouth most often!

(Cookie dough tastes much better uncooked right??)

However today I challenged myself to give it a shot.. what was the worst that could happen?

Well.. I will confess that once again, me and the cookie dough didn’t quite along too well! It turned out less like cookie dough, and more like very thick cupcake batter.

Maybe the fairy baking mother is trying to tell me something.

But I proceeded to chill, roll, chill my gloopy cupcake batter. And it really was a lost cause by then. So, I resorted to how I like to do things. The ‘cookies’ were simply rolled into a smallish flat ball in my hand, and placed on a tray. And cooked of course.

Out popped my improvised cookie/cake creation! Crunchy on the outside, but deliciously soft on the inside! (Best eaten warm from the oven!)

Loved by everyone in my house, I guess they weren’t such a disaster after all! A new afternoon treat fave!

Baking after all is never exactly perfect, its about how you make it, and learning from past (cookie dough) mistakes I guess!

Have you ever had any baking ‘mishaps’? Or have you perfected the sugar cookie? If so, please let me  know!