Thursday, 3 September 2009

Banana Strawberry and White Chocolate Loaf

I want to start off by thanking each and every one of you for the lovely messages of condolence and support. It’s been a tough time and I miss Ollie very much, it’s hard waking up some mornings not being greeted by his beautiful face but I take strength from him and how much he fought for life. Last week we picked up his ashes and both hubby and I shed some more tears together as we placed his wooden casket alongside the burning candle we light in his memory each day since his passing. Each day is a new day and as everyone keeps telling me time is a great healer but Ollie will always be in my heart and I won’t ever forget the happiness and love he gave me. Today was not a good day for me but I know I need to carry on and do the things I enjoy, so I ventured into the kitchen and did some baking.

I had some strawberries and ripe bananas and decided to combine the both with some white chocolate and make a quick cake loaf. I love this combo of flavours, having made some muffins with the same combo not long ago. This utterly lush loaf delivers a moist sweet sponge, with the delightful blend of mashed banana and studded through with bite-sized strawberry chunks and white chocolate chips. A match made in heaven!

Banana, Strawberry and White Chocolate Loaf

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 medium sized bananas)
¼ cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
½ cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Add the banana and the milk. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the creamed mixture until just blended. Using a spoon mix in the strawberries and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9X5X3 inch loaf pan and bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hr and 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Jammy Doughnut Muffins~Sweet and Simple Bake!

I present this month's offering for Sweet and Simple Bakes. I've not done much baking in the last couple of weeks but I didn't want to let down Rosie and all the hard work she's done over the last couple of month's, plus getting back in the kitchen was a pleasant distraction. My family definitely appreciated this return to baking and these muffins were a big hit. They are super easy to make and in the words of my family, "these are the best kind of doughnuts in muffin form"! I will certainly be making them again. Please pop over to Sweet and Simple Bakes to view more yummy entries!

Jammy Doughnut Muffins

Makes 12

275g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
100g (4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs
200ml (7 fl oz) milk
75g (3 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 tsp strawberry or raspberry jam

For The Toping
100g (4 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter
150g (5 oz) granulated sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

You will need 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl, and stir through the sugar. In large jug, lightly beat the eggs then add the milk, cooled butter and vanilla extract and beat together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients stir gently until just combined. (Do not over mix, its fine to have a few lumps in the mixture.) Spoon half the muffin mixture into the base of each paper case. Top each muffin with a teaspoon of jam. Now equally between each paper case, top with the remaining muffin mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen, golden and firm to the touch.

For The Topping: melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Spread the granulated sugar in a wide, shallow bowl with the cinnamon if using. When the muffins are baked, leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar. You can serve these muffins warm or cold; however, I do prefer to eat them whilst warm.