Banana, Rum & Rasin Loaf

Totally stolen from Milli Taylor after seeing this on her instagram @millitaylor
Needs to be started 24h in advance so the raisins are well soaked…

100g sultanas or raisins
150ml dark rum
180g unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
2 large bananas very ripe, (blackening) well mashed
150g plain flour
100g muscovado sugar
40g Demerara sugar
3.5 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
80g nuts (optional, hazelnuts work well)

In a small pan bring the rum just to be boil and then add the dried fruit. Swirl around and leave to soak for at least 10h, ideally 24h.

Brown the butter now, by cutting into small pieces and heating in a little pan, swirl around to get it to mix well, let it foam. It is ready when it is a caramel colour. Should smell nutty but not go black. Leave to cool and if it need storing keep in the fridge overnight.

To make the cake…. Preheat oven to 175C fan.

Take a 2lb loaf tin (approx. 21cm l x 11cm w x 7cm h) and rub it well with soft butter. Then add the Demerara sugar and tap and tilt the tin around to coat the bottom and sides with the sugar. The tin has to be well buttered for this to work, the sugar will coat it all.

In a large bowl (use electric whisk, hand one is fine), beat the eggs and muscovado sugar until pale and thick (will take a few mins, by thick it means there should be ribbons in the batter when you lift the whisk out).

Then add the rum soaked fruit and any liquid, the mashed bananas, (cool) brown butter and mix with a spoon.

Now add flour, salt and the baking powder and finally the chopped nuts if using. Put the mix into the sugared tin and bake for approx. 50 mins. Check with a toothpick to see if done and do another 5 if still a little sticky. Leave to cool for 20 mins and then turn the cake out onto a rack. As it cools the sugar will go crunchy on the outside.

 

Ciambela – Breakfast or Coffee Bread

500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
Zest of 3 large or 4 small lemons
125g caster sugar
4 tbs olive oil
5 tbs sunflower oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 tbs milk

This is half cake, half bread. Good for breakfast and can be cut and eaten 5 mins from taking out the oven.

Preheat fan oven to 170C. Grease using sunflower oil a ring tin.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the other dry ingredients, including the lemon zest and mix. Add the oils and stir until the mix goes into a fine crumb. Some of the larger bits you might need to break up with fingers.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and add the vanilla and milk, stir and add to the crumb mix. Stir until all mixed and then spoon into the tin. Spread out as evenly as possible around the tin, does not need to be smoothed over but should be around the same height.

Cook for 45 mins. Remove from the oven and if it will not come away from the tin use a thin pallet knife to remove. Slice as required. It should have a close crumb and be quite dry.

Can be toasted both sides under the grill and kept as biscotti as well.

Easy Ginger Biscuits

110g butter

110 caster sugar

100g golden syrup

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ground ginger

Preheat over to 180C (or 170C fan).

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and melt together (on number 5). Then add all the dry ingredients and stir to make a dough.

Allow to cool a couple of mins.

Put on the rolling mat and divide into 4. 

Roll each into a sausage about 3cm diameter and then chop into pieces and roll in the palm of your hands. Wants to be about the size of a small walnut. 

Grease non-stick baking sheet and put the balls on, leaving space between them for spreading. Will be about 20 for the first batch. Push down firmly on top of each one with a fork to flatten and rib it. 

Cook for 10 mins or a little longer if you want v crunchy. Take out and using a pallet knife put on cooling rack. Then do the next batch.

Coconut Biscuits

150g butter or margarine

1 tbs honey

130g caster sugar

70g self raising flour

90g desiccated coconut

100g oats

You will make about 30 biscuits, ready to scoff in 20 mins. 

Preheat oven to 170C fan. Get two large non-stick baking sheets ready and grease with a little butter.

In a large pan melt butter, honey and sugar together on heat 5 until all liquid. Don’t allow to bubble/boil.

Add the flour, coconut and oats and mix until all combined. 

Put heaped teaspoonfuls of mix onto the baking sheets well spread out, flatten the mounds a little. You will get about 8 per sheet (you will need to do 2 runs in the oven) if they are spaced out enough. 

Bake for no more than 10 mins – the lower tray might need a min longer than the top. They should be golden but not a dark brown.

Leave to cool for a few mins on the sheet and then lift off with a pallet knife onto a cooling rack.