Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

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Pound cake. I don’t know what it is about pound cake that just gets me going. Perhaps it’s that buttery taste, or the tight crumb that melts in your mouth, or the insanely delicious smell it creates in your kitchen when it’s baking. It’s basically heaven. Who can say no to that?!

Pound cake is actually easy to make. Most recipes have a very similar set of ingredients and are often called sour cream cakes or even butter cakes. Essentially, they use the same ingredients in varying quantities to achieve a given result. If you’re a geek like me, watch this video that shows you how the varying quantities affect the end result of the cake. Otherwise, just take my word for it, this stuff is good!

One thing I always took for granted with baking, was the temperature of the ingredients. I really learned the effects of it when I once make pound cake with sour cream straight out of the fridge! The cake ended up being stodgy inside as the cold of the sour cream made the butter in the batter firm up into little globules. Not ideal! Since then, I’ve always used room temperature ingredients. Your butter, eggs and sour cream and the crucial ingredients that should always be used at room temperature. Trust me.

Lastly, I confess that I did not measure the amount of chocolate chips I put in this pound cake. I like a lot of chocolate chips, so I cut up some chocolate and added it in. If it didn’t look enough when i stirred it through the batter then I added more! I estimate at least 1/2 cup of chocolate chips will be needed. I recommend buying a bar or chocolate and chopping that up rather than using chocolate chips from the baking aisle. It just doesn’t taste as good!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Makes 1 loaf
220g all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
230g butter, softened to room temperature
200g granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, put your flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a little whisk to combine. Set aside.

With a handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar and vanilla, until creamy, about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in between additions. Add your sour cream and beat once more. Now add your dry ingredients. Mix using a spatula to give better control. You don’t want to overmix the batter! When the flour is nearly combined with the batter, add your chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated. The batter will be very thick and creamy, as it should be.

Spoon batter into loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden. Check at 40 minutes to see if the cake is browning too much. If so, cover the top with some foil and continue baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool inside the pan for 5 minutes. turn onto a cooling rack. Once cool to touch you can slice it up and eat it. It’s best to wait until it’s fully cool as that makes cutting easier.

Pear and Raspberry Cake

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By now you have probably figured out that I love baking with fruit. Apples, oranges, plums, bananas, berries, basically any fruit that I can get my hands on, it all ends up in my baked goods. Pear and raspberry is actually a great combo, which I'd never used before until I made this cake. It was a surprisingly good combo! The sweet pears and the sour raspberries work perfectly together with this buttery cake. Needless to say, this cake didn't last long, it was gone with 48 hours...

The cake in this recipe is a basic butter cake. The best thing about basic recipes like this is that it can easily be tweaked to suit your needs. You can change up the fruit, add some spice, or simply have it plain! I've made this recipe a few times now, mostly with the pear and raspberries but I recently used the same recipe to make a lemon blueberry cake instead. It was a very summery cake indeed. You can try other fruit combinations, peach and raspberry will be my next stop, but the options are endless. You can also add some spice to the mix, such as cinnamon or even ginger. Pear and ginger would work great too! Honestly the combinations are endless. Have fun with it I say!

Pear & Raspberry Cake (From Laced With Sugar)
Serves 8-10
125 grams butter, softened
160 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
100g sour cream
150g standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 small can sliced pears, drained
1 cup frozen raspberries (do not defrost)

Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Grease and line your cake tin with baking paper (I used a 23cm round tin. Square tins work too)

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated into the batter. Add in the sour cream and mix until combined. Mix in the flour ensuring there are no air pockets in the mixture. Lastly fold through the raspberries. Pour batter into cake tin. Smooth out with a spatula. Arrange your pears on top of the cake. No need to push them down as the cake will rise around it.

Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Test for done-ness by inserting a skewer int he middle of the cake - it should come out clean.
Cool in tin. Dust with icing sugar if you wish. Cut and serve. It's lovely served warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Enjoy!!

xx
Ugeshni

Pumpkin Bread

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I find the word bread often confuses people. We think of bread as something you make sandwiches with, which is true. But in the baking world, banana bread, or in this case pumpkin bread, isn't for sandwiches. It's simply a tea loaf you can enjoy with your cuppa in the afternoon.

I'm a big bread fan! I've been making banana bread for years and have since branched out to many more bread and loaf tea time treats. These loaves often contain fruit like, bananas, apple and now pumpkin. After making pumpkin waffles, it made perfect sense to use the leftover puree in a bread!

This pumpkin bread has that vibrant orange colour from the pumpkin and has a very slight pumpkin flavour. It's super moist due to the pumpkin, but also the apple sauce. I wanted this loaf to remain healthy so I have used an unrefined sweetener, maple syrup. You could also use honey, however this will change the flavour. I would recommend a honey that doesn't have too strong a flavour. Sticking with the unrefined theme, I have used whole wheat flour here. Standard flour will work too, but I urge you to try the whole wheat if you can. It adds a nutty flavour to the loaf.

The recipe is simple and healthy with just a few ingredients. The loaf cooks at a lower temp and for just 50 minutes. You really have no excuse left not to try it.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread (Adapted from Cookie and Kate)
Serves 10
⅓ cup vegetable oil (coconut oil and olive work too)
½ cup maple syrup (honey works too)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée (homemade or store bought)
¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
¼ cup apple sauce
1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice blend
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour (I use atta)
½ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 160 C.
Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin. Set aside

In a large bowl whisk together oil, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, milk and apple sauce.
To the same bowl add your pumpkin spice, baking soda, salt, flour and walnuts. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix together until combined. Avoid over mixing as this will result in a tough bread. 
Once combined pour the batter into your lined loaf tin and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. To check if done place a skewer in the middle and it should come out clean.
Allow to cool in tin, then slice and enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni

The Best Carrot Cake

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We're at that time of year where celebrations are plenty. With September being the month of most birthdays around the world you're going to need a celebration cake, or two up your sleeve. Carrot cake is such a classic cake and it's perfect for a celebration. It's the one cake that pretty much everybody loves so you really can't go wrong here.

I have made many, many carrot cakes in my time, in all shapes and sizes. I've tried recipes with crushed pineapple, recipes with yogurt and recipes which say to grate your carrots super fine and then coat them in flour. Many hours have been spent in finding the perfect carrot cake recipe. I've been around the carrot cake block people, and this recipe is most definitely the best I've ever made.

There is only one trick ingredient in this recipe and that's the apple sauce. I'm a huge fan of using apple sauce in recipes because it adds moisture to the cake and gives it a soft texture, which is what you want. You won't get any apple flavour in the final product though. You also won't taste any carrot either, so if you're not a fan of carrots, don't worry you won't taste it. The main purpose of the carrots is to add sweetness and texture. If not for the vibrant colour of carrots you'd have no idea this cake is full of them.

Now let's talk about frosting. The classic frosting for carrot cake is cream cheese frosting and I'm totally on board with that. As you know from my previous cake recipes, I love me some salted caramel cream cheese frosting and I reckon it goes perfectly with this cake. Vanilla and orange cream cheese frosting would work well too. Of course you can use any cream cheese frosting you like. I'm not a fan of frosting that is loaded with icing sugar, and I experimented with a vanilla cream cheese frosting for the cake in the picture. I've yet to get the quantities spot on for that, so I won't share that with you just yet. For now, let's get baking...

Carrot Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Serves 10-12
For the Cake
1 & 1/2 cups (300g) brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (133g) smooth unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 & 1/2 cups (312g) standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups (260g) carrots, grated (about 4 carrots)
1 cup (125g) walnuts

For the frosting
500g cream cheese, block style, softened
2/3 cup salted caramel
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbs whole milk, optional

For the cake -
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Spray and line 2 round tins. Any size from 8"-10" will do. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the brown sugar and caster sugar. Make sure you break up any lumps of brown sugar now or else you won't be able to do it once we add the next ingredients.
Add the oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Whisk once more until the mixture is combined. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Use a folding motion to bring the mixture together. Lastly add the carrots and walnuts and fold once more until combined. Avoid over mixing the batter as it will affect the texture of your cake.
Pour the batter into your cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. To check if the cakes are cooked insert a skewer into the middle and it should come out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely in their tins.

For the frosting -
In a large bowl place your cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add half of your salted caramel and maple syrup. Beat until well combined. The frosting will thin out with the addition of the caramel and maple. Taste, and if required, add more of the salted caramel and maple until you get a slightly sweet and slightly salty frosting. Once the desired taste is reached, if the frosting is too stiff for your liking, add the milk, else it's ready to slather onto your cake.

Assembly-
Once cakes are cool, and the frosting is done, it's time to put it all together.
Place the bottom layer on your cake board/plate and top with some frosting. Place the second layer over this, and top with frosting. With the remaining frosting cover your cake as you see fit. This would make a really pretty naked cake too!
Decorate as you see fit. I used some chopped pistachios and orange zest for the cake in the picture above. You could also do some walnuts and a caramel sauce drizzle. Flowers would look great too. The options are endless really.
Once your cake is decorated, dig in and enjoy! The cake doesn't need to be refrigerated, unless you're living in the tropics in which case the frosting will melt. The cake will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Enjoy!!

xx
Ugeshni

Apple Berry Sponge Pudding

Every now and then I end up with a recipe that is a crowd pleaser time and time again, like this one, or this one. Well now I have another to add to the list! I love this dessert because not only is it warm and cozy for these winter nights, but it has 3 of my favourite dessert components - fruit, cake and custard. Who doesn't love that?

This pudding is basically "stewed" fruit with a layer of vanilla sponge on top. It's warm and delicious served with cream, custard or ice cream. The best part is that it's super simple to make! In fact, I would go as far as saying this recipe is fail proof. Even when you think it's gonna flop, it never does. Trust me!
This pudding is a great way to use up any excess fruit you may have on hand. Pretty much any fruit will do, apples, pears, berries, stone fruit etc. The recipe is basic enough that you can get creative with different fruit and spice combinations if you're up to it.
Today's one is a simple apple berry mix with some cinnamon in there for good measure. I prefer to have some texture in the fruit layer rather than just having fruit mush, so I chose apples that remain firm once cooked. Apples like granny smith or fuji work great for this. I used pacific rose as it's readily available to me. I like to pair this apple with berries that have some tartness to them. Blackberries and raspberries are great, but I have a bag of mixed berries on hand, that included blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. All together it makes for a great mix of sweet and tart for the fruit layer. With the addition of the soft vanilla sponge and custard on top, well it's pretty much heaven.

Apple Berry Sponge Pudding (Adapted from Bite)
Serves 8
Fruit Mixture
2 large apples (I used pacific rose)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
500g mixed berries (I used frozen)

Sponge Top
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
sliced almonds to decorate

Heat the oven to 180C. Lightly butter a 2L-cup capacity oven-proof dish.

Peel, core and cube your apples. Place apples in a saucepan with the water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Cook on medium heat until the apples have softened. Add in your mixed berries and continue to cook until the berries have softened. It will take about 5-6 minutes.
While that's happening, make your sponge top.

Using a hand mixer, beat sugar and butter in a medium bowl until pale a fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture. At this point you should have a fairly thick mixture. Add milk, and mix in. You should have a batter that is off a soft drop consistency, kinda like buttercream. Use more milk if necessary to loosen mixture. You definitely don't want a pourable batter though!
Once correct consistency is reached, your fruit will likely be ready. Spoon fruit into your oven proof dish. Do not add all the liquid, you want the fruit to be a little wet, but not swimming in liquid. (Reserve the extra liquid to use as a berry sauce when serving!) Working as quickly as possible, spoon sponge batter over the fruit mixture in the dish and spread out. It's easiest if you drop spoonfuls around the edge of the dish first and work your way in. Don't fret if the batter starts to melt, it will come together in the end.
Lastly, sprinkle over the almonds and place dish in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the sponge is golden and springs back when lightly touched.
Serve warm with cream, vanilla custard or ice cream.

Enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni

 

Salted Caramel Hummingbird Cake

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A hummingbird cake is like the ultimate tropical spice cake. It's made with banana, pineapple and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. It's almost like a banana cake crossed with a pineapple upside down cake. You really have to try it to know what it's like. I know many people were confused by the combination of pineapple and banana, but when they ate the cake, they were instant fans.

This past weekend we were invited to a dinner party, so of course I was going to make cake. I made two hummingbird cakes, both pictured above. I got a lot of positive comments from the guests. The stand out in this cake is actually the frosting. You'll remember this frosting from my apple spice cake. It's super smooth, creamy, slightly savoury and slightly sweet. My cream cheese frosting is not like your average. I don't use butter or sugar in mine. I prefer to use a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup in this case. I'm not a fan of gritty frosting that is sickly sweet which is why I usually opt for a liquid sweetener. I don't see the need for butter in a cream cheese frosting so I never use it. To me, my version of cream cheese frosting is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury and turns out many other people agree with me!

Now, I definitely think you should make your own salted caramel for this frosting. It's super easy to make and in my opinion it tastes much better than your store bought variety. But if you couldn't be bothered, you could actually leave it out and use more liquid sweetener instead. I would definitely recommend adding a pinch of salt to your frosting though.

Salted Caramel Hummingbird Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Serves 12-14
370g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed banana (4 ripe bananas)
one 285g can crushed pineapple
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (200g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups walnuts, chopped

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
750g cream cheese (3 blocks)
3/4 cup salted caramel
2/3 cup maple syrup

For the cakes-
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line your 3 baking tins. I used three 25cm tins. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl.
Whisk the rest of the cake ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Fold in your walnuts.

Evenly divide the batter between your 3 tins. Place in preheated oven and bake for 26-29 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
Once cakes are out of the oven allow them to cool in the tin. Once they are cooled you can remove them from the tins and cut the tops off to make it level.

For the frosting-
In a large bowl place your cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add half of your salted caramel and maple syrup. Beat until well combined. The frosting will thin out with the addition of the caramel and maple. Taste, and if required, add more of the salted caramel and maple until you get a slightly sweet and slightly salty frosting. Once the desired taste is reached, cover it with glad wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Assembly-
Once cakes are cool and frosting is made, it's time to put it all together. Place the bottom layer on your cake board/plate and top with some frosting. Smooth out with a spatula before placing the next layer of cake on top. Repeat the process until your 3 layers are stacked. With the remaining frosting cover your cake as you see fit. This would make a really pretty naked cake too! I stuck with the traditional look and covered the entire cake in frosting.

Decorate as you see fit. Flowers did the trick for cake 1, but cake 2 was decorated with walnuts. If you're planning on doing some piping you will need to make more frosting as the amount specified in the recipe it just enough to cover the cake.

Enjoy!
xx

Ugeshni

The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake
Apple Spice Cake Slice

I've made this spice cake before and I loved it so much I decided it should be my birthday cake. As much as I appreciate the work that goes into the popular fondant style cakes that are being made in various shapes and colours, that simply doesn't tickle my fancy. I like my cake to look like cake. Simple, clean, uncomplicated in design and booming with flavour is what I go for. I think that is why I lean towards fruit or spice flavoured cakes. Taste means a lot more to me that aesthetics and this cake really packs a flavour punch.

Let's talk about the cake. There are 3 main components; the spice cake, the apple filling and the cream cheese frosting. The cake itself is super moist. The spices are on point and if you leave the cake over night the flavour just develops and it's even better.

The filling was my way of making this the ultimate apple cake. The cake itself doesn't have any apple flavour. If you didn't have the apple filling, you'd have no idea the cake had any traces of apple in it. The addition of the apple filling really took this cake up a notch.

The frosting is something I could eat out the bowl! Yeah, OK, I did eat some out of the bowl, but it's seriously good! The creamy, salty, sweet combination really compliments the spice cake.

Basically, this cake is life, and you need to experience it. Now's good.

The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Serves 12-16
312g standard flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
350g packed brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
1 cup grated apple (grated carrot or courgette works too)

Maple Cinnamon Apple Filling
2 Tbs butter
2 apples, peeled and diced
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
500g cream cheese, block style, softened
2/3 cup salted caramel
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbs whole milk, optional

For the cake-
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line your cake tin/s. I used one 23cm spring form tin. If you're making this a layer cake, definitely use 2-3 tins so the cakes cook evenly.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In another bowl, place the oil, brown sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until it's all nicely combined. Fold in the grated apple (or courgette/carrot if you're substituting) until combined.

Pour batter into tin and bake for 60 minutes, if using one tin. If using multiple tins, 30-40 minutes is a good guide. check at 30mins and then every 10 minutes after that. Baking times will vary, so keep an eye on it. Test cake with a skewer to see if it's done. The skewer should come out clean.

Once done, remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the filling-
Melt butter in a fry pan on medium heat. Once melted add the apples, cinnamon and maple syrup. cook until apples are soft. Set aside for when you're assembling the cake. You might find that the butter hardens when you put it in the fridge, simply reheat in the microwave for 10 seconds before using it in the cake.

For the frosting-
In a large bowl place your cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add half of your salted caramel and maple syrup. Beat until well combined. The frosting will thin out with the addition of the caramel and maple. Taste, and if required, add more of the salted caramel and maple until you get a slightly sweet and slightly salty frosting. Once the desired taste is reached, if the frosting is too stiff for your liking, add the milk, else it's ready to slather onto your cake.

Assembly-
Once cakes are cool, it's time to put it all together. If you made one cake, you will need to cut it into 3 layers.

Place the bottom layer on your cake board/plate and top with some frosting. Dollop half the apple filling all over the frosting.

Place the second layer over this, and top with frosting then apples, then the final layer of cake. With the remaining frosting cover your cake as you see fit. This would make a really pretty naked cake too!

Decorate as you see fit. Flowers did the trick for me, but walnuts/pistachios and some salted caramel drizzled on top can work too. If you're planning on doing some piping you will need to make more frosting as the amount specified in the recipe it just enough to cover the cake.

Enjoy!
xx
Ugeshni

Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting

A good friend of ours has an orange tree in their back yard that is currently laden with fruit. Enter free oranges!
When you have a baking obsession and you have an abundance of something it's pretty much a no brainer that it's gonna end up in your dessert. Enter, this cake.

I've seen numerous recipes for citrus and almond cakes. Most of them are syrup cakes and use just the zest of the fruit for flavour. I've made a similar one before which uses semolina rather than almond meal which is lovely, but doesn't use up enough fruit to solve my orange problem.
I'd seen this mandarin cake recipe on Nadia's site a while ago but never got around to making it. After a bit more research I found several other recipes that use whole citrus in the cake. It was destined to happen from there.

This cake is unlike any cake I've made before. It uses the entire orange, skin, pith and all. This keeps the cake moist and gives it the ultimate citrus flavour. Of course I wasn't going to stop there. I added some vanilla and cardamom to spice things up, literally. Then to go even further with my madness I added some orange blossom water, coz why not?

Once the cake finally came out the oven I didn't drench it in syrup like most recipes call for. This cake is not sweet due to the orange pith giving it a slightly bitter taste. I don't have a problem with that, so the syrup was out for me. I still wanted something on top of the cake though. Cream cheese frosting would have worked for this cake but I wanted something lighter so I opted for greek yoghurt. I strained the greek yoghurt in a muslin cloth overnight. This basically removed most of the water content to give me a thicker yoghurt which was perfect for frosting. I then flavoured it with some freshly squeezed orange juice and honey to counter act the tartness and bitterness.

Choose sweet oranges for this cake. If you can't get any sweet ones, opt for mandarins, tangelos or clementines instead. They will all work for this recipe.

Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting (Adapted from Nigella)
Serves 8-10
Orange Cake
3 small oranges, approx 375g in weight (mandarins, clementines or tangelos work too)
225g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch vanilla powder
6 eggs, beaten
2 tsp orange blossom water

Yoghurt Frosting
250g greek yoghurt, strained
1/3 cup orange juice
3 Tbs honey
pistachios/ pomegranate seeds/ orange zest/ honey to decorate

Don't peel, slice or chop your oranges. Place the whole oranges in a small saucepan and fill with water. Boil until soft. Depending on your fruit of choice this could take between 30-60 minutes. You want the fruit to be soft enough to puree.
Once soft, turn heat off, drain the water and allow fruit to cool. Then cut in half and remove seeds if there are any. Puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl place your sugar, almond meal, cardamom, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Then add your orange puree and eggs. Mix until combined. Lastly add your orange blossom water and mix it in.
Pour batter into a greased spring form tin. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Check with toothpick or skewer to see if it's done. The skewer when inserted should come out clean. Allow cake to cool in tin.

To make frosting, place all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Once cake has cooled, remove it form the tin and slather on the frosting. Decorate with pistachios, pomegranate seeds, orange zest and a drizzle of honey.

Store cake in the fridge so the yoghurt doesn't turn. Warm to room temperature before eating.

Enjoy!
xx

Ugeshni

Mum's Banana Bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I baked as a kid. Decades later I'm still using the same recipe and everybody still loves it. The recipe comes from my mum, who also taught me to bake. I don't know how long she had this recipe before me, but I'm pretty sure it's like a 40 year old recipe! 

I've made this loaf so many times over the years that I actually know the recipe by heart.
The reason I love this recipe so much is that it's actually really forgiving. As a baker I am always precise with measurements and technique, but with this loaf you can pretty much get away with both. It's the perfect recipes for kids or baking noobs, simply because it's really difficult to mess it up!

If you've got some over ripe bananas on hand, now is the time my friends to make this bread! If you're short on time, simply peel the ripe bananas and freeze them. When you're ready to bake simply defrost and mash and you're good to go!

Mum's Banana Bread
Serves 12
125g butter, or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
4 medium bananas, mashed (the riper the better)
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Grease and line a standard 9 inch loaf tin. Set aside. 

In a large bowl add your butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add both eggs and beat once more. Add in your bananas and mix with a spatula. It's ok if it's a bit lumpy.
Add in your flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Don't mix yet. In a seperate small bowl add your baking soda and boiling water. It should fizz up straight away. Mix it until all the baking soda is dissolved. Add this to your banana mixture and mix until combined. Lastly fold in your walnuts. 
Pour batter into your tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the middle of the loaf. It should come out clean.
Allow to cool in tin. Slice, serve and enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni