Nothing beats a freshly baked, warm and soothing banana bread. This recipe is a one-bowl wonder.
Minimum mess and quick to make and a great one to get the kids to help with.
It bakes a satisfying, moreish bread to be eaten straight away or after a couple days it is delicious sliced and fried in a bit of butter then served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
125g unrefined golden caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
4 smallish, ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence
175g plain flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon blue poppy seeds
Set your oven to 170c.
In a blender, cream together the caster sugar and butter and when it is well mixed and smooth, keep the motor running and add the eggs, one at a time allowing each egg to get fully combined before adding the next.
Peel and roughly chop the bananas and add them to the blender, along with the vanilla essence and give it a good blitz so the bananas have smashed down and all is mixed well.
Weigh out the flour and add to the blender along with the blue poppy seeds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Given it quick blitz so the flour is well combined.
Butter or line a bread tin and pour in the banana mix.
Bake the bread in the middle shelf of the oven for 45-55 minutes.
You will know when it’s done when it has risen slightly and it’s golden brown and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.
Leave the bread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then either turn out onto a rack and allow to cool or tuck in!
These brownies are the ultimate in true indulgence. Follow this recipe and I promise you have never tasted a brownie as good! Loved by kids, savoured by adults!
150g unsalted butter
180g golden caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
150g 70% dark chocolate
pinch of flaked sea salt
35g plain flour
35g ground almonds
35g good quality cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
Break up the dark chocolate into a small bowl and place this over a pan of simmering water to leave to melt. When it has melted, add a good pinch of flaked sea salt.
While the chocolate is melting, put the butter and sugar in a food processor and blitz until the butter is smooth and creamy and completely combined with the sugar. With the food processor still whizzing, break each egg, one at a time, into the butter and allow it to mix thoroughly before adding the next egg. If the mixture splits a bit do not worry.
Scrape out the butter mixture into a largish bowl and once the chocolate is completely melted, pour on top of the butter mixture and give it a good stir.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the chocolate mix. Add the ground almonds. Stir well so all the flour is completely mixed in.
Line a roasting tin (about 28cm x 16cm) with greaseproof paper and pour in the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the surface with flaked almonds – as many as you like.
Pop the brownies in the oven at 180c and bake for 25 minutes or until the surface of the brownies has formed a crust but is still slightly wobbly in the middle.
Leave the brownies to cool in the tin for a good half hour – if you can bear the temptation!
Slice the brownies into 12 sections, pop on a plate and dust with icing sugar then enjoy.
1 medium sized Butternut Squash
125g unsalted butter or a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sage leaves, roughly chopped
Organic chicken or vegetable Stock
A pinch of Aleppo chili or smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Skin, deseed (keep the seeds for roasting) and roughly chop your butternut squash.
In a large, heavy-based sauce pan melt the unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil then add the chopped shallots and sage leaves. Gently cook the shallots for 10 minutes or until they are wonderfully soft and starting to go golden brown. Add the pumpkin flesh and pinch of chili then season with some salt and pepper. Cover the pan and gently cook the pumpkin for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. Add the stock and bring to the boil and gently simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is wonderfully soft. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then blitz the soup in a food processor or with a hand-held blitzer until it is velvety smooth.
While the soup is cooking, rinse the saved pumpkin seeds to remove any unwanted fibre from the squash flesh, then pat dry with some kitchen towel. Spread out on a baking tray and sprinkle generously with flaked sea salt. Pop in the oven at 200c for 10 minutes or until the seeds have turned golden. They are the most delicious snack - kids love them.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraichè and a sprinkling of roasted pumpkin seeds.