Thursday, 2 November 2017

Banana, Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Muffins

After an unsuccessful cookie baking exercise last week I decided it was time to try another baking session with the kids. We had a glut of ripe bananas in our house, and whilst wondering what to do with them I came across two bread recipes from AllRecipes and from 12Tomatoes which looked quite interesting. We also had a party the following day so I decided to give turning the recipes into muffins a go. The first batch was quite small - giving around 10 large muffins, so for the second I  played with the recipe a bit. This recipe will create around 12 large muffins, or 20 smaller ones (good for kids). They went down a treat at the party and stayed nice for a couple of days afterwards in an air tight container.  I reduced the amount of peanut butter purely as I only had some much left - you can add more, I just liked the hint of peanut I got from this recipe so I would hold off on doing more than 1/2 cup although the original stated up to 3/4 cup.

Ingredients


Dry
  • 2.5 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

Wet
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 tbl crunchy peanut butter 
  • 1 tbl flax seed
  • 3 tbl warm water
  • 1/4 cup of margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Additional
  • 1 cup of dairy free choc chips
  • splash of almond milk

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180C
  • Line a muffin or cupcake tin - depending on size of muffins you want.
  • Take a medium bowl and mash down the bananas
  • Take the flax seed into a small bowl and mix with the warm water 
  • When the flax seed mix is thick/glutenous mix with the bananas 
  • Add in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix together, make sure there are no large lumps in it. You can melt the margarine first but I didn't bother.
  • Take a large bowl and mix together the dry ingredients
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and then slowly add in the wet whilst continuously mixing
  • Once mixed make sure the consistency is quite firm - if  too firm add a bit of milk. The mix should stick properly to a spoon. At this point add the choc chips and give a further quick stir.
  • For large muffins use a large tablespoon to put the mix into the cases, I filled them approx 3/4 of the casing.  
  • Cooking time: 12 mins for the small cup cake size, 16 for the larger size
Sorry about lack of photos, will have to make them again and then update this post.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Cupcakes - no aqua faba this time

Well not wanting to open another can of chickpeas I have tried a new cupcake recipe based on a few older cake recipes on this site. This is a proper amalgamation. My daughter asked for pink and blue cakes, so we ended up adding food colouring from my icing sets to get some colour in the mix. This recipe is vegan friendly.

Ingredients


  • 200g self raising flour
  • 50g Tex butter substitute
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbl flax seed in 70ml of water
  • 150ml yogurt (I used soya/ almond)
  • Dash of almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Methodology


  • Pre heat oven to 180C
  • mix up the flour and sugar
  • in second bowl mix up the butter, yogurt, vanilla essence, and flax seed
  • add the flour and sugar to the wet ingredients 
  • place a tablespoon in each cupcake case - this made 16 cupcakes.




Notes


  • This may not be sweet enough for you but the kids loved it - my daughter happily cleaned the bowls for me and sat sucking the paper after eating the cupcake first out of oven (still stuck to paper as they hadn't cooled at that point)
  • The cupcakes took a while in the oven - around 20/ 25mins. this did seem a long time but they were still moist and yummy.



Friday, 15 July 2016

Preserving Cherries

So it is that time of the year that the garden starts giving me the challenge of what to do with the fruit it is busily producing. This is the first year we have managed to get anything off the cherry tree. So pleased but struggled to find a way to use them all up. So I decided to try the recipe from Tori Avey. I found the following:
  • This recipe was way too sweet for  me
  • De-steming before doing this meant the cherries went black at that point very quickly, don't destem until ready to make the preserve (read this to find out how to stop the discolouring happening, this is also useful as cherries go a funny colour as you pit them)
  • It takes an age to cut stones out of the cherries
  • It takes longer to create the syrup than she states
  • Cherries stain your hands when destoning with a knife
  • 2lb makes just about two jars of preserved cherries
  • This recipe had a lot of left over liquid even after additional reduction process.

Ingredients
  • 2lb cherries - before stoning and steming
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of water
Methodology
  • Put the water and sugar mix on the stove to boil
  • Whilst mix is boiling pit the cherries
  • When the mix is like a thin syrup - thicker than water, but not quite like honey - add cherries
  • Bring back to a boil
  • Simmer for 30 mins, in an open pan
  • Check the liquid - it should have reduced to around 2 cup by this point. You may not use all the liquid in the jars.
  • Allow to cool in the pan
  • Add to sterilised jars - cover fruit with the syrup, leaving 1/2 inch at the top
  • Keep in the fridge

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Butter Icing - vegan style

This was using black bean aqua faba for meringues. that I successfully made some vegan butter icing for a recent birthday cake, I used it to stick it together (with some lush jam) and also as the base of the cake to put the royal icing on top (normally I use marzipan but my brother was over and he hates it). I used an old Kenwood Chef.

I kinda followed this recipe with a few tweaks as it looked like it would make too much for me to use. I did have some left over icing my cake as it was. https://geekycakes.com/2015/05/08/egg-free-dairy-free-vegan-italian-meringue-buttercream/

Ingredients


  • 1.25 cup cold water
  • 1.33 cups granulated sugar
  • 0.75 cup aqua faba (straight from the tin)
  • 1.5 cups of Trex butter
  • 1.5 cups of margarine (dairy free)
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract


Method


  1. reduce the aqua faba down to half a cup 
  2. pour aqua faba into mixer bowl (mixer fixed with whisk attachment)
  3. place sugar and water into saucepan and hand whisk over a medium heat until dissolved
  4. add a candy thermometer to the mix and then heat up to  234ºF - at this point start whisking the aqua faba on a medium high speed.
  5. Ensure that the aqua faba is at the stiff peak stage when the sugar syrup is at 248ºF
  6. Set mixer to high and very slowly add the sugar syrup to the aqua faba
  7. Once all the mix is added the aqua faba should have increased in size and look almost marshmellowy. 
  8. Allow to cool, and change the whisk to a paddle or, as in my case, a K-beater.
  9. Once cool (this is important, don't be impatient ;-)) slowly add the butter/margarine/shortening
    Note: You will notice some deflation at this point. I also noticed a point where it seemed to curdle, don't panic continue adding the fat and mixing and it should come back again (the original instructions say to place everything in the fridge if it doesn't - I didn't get to that point)
  10. Turn mixer to low and add the vanilla extract
This can be stored in the fridge or freezer but might need re-whipping before use. 

This was using black bean aqua faba for the meringue, using left over butter icingand strawberries

Friday, 22 April 2016

Brownies (aqua faba)

Tried a new Brownie recipe today - using Black Bean aqua faba, This was based on the recipe from https://eclecticerica.com/ooey-gooey-fudgy-vegan-brownies-using-aquafaba/ These were quite crumbly - not sure if they are supposed to be or whether adding a bit of banana might be worth it next time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Trex Dairy Free butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 6 tbl of aqua faba (this is equal to two eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of (dairy free) chocolate - either drops or broken up pieces
  • 1/3 cup of nuts
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Use a loaf tin, line with greaseproof paper
  • Pre heat oven to 175C
  • whisk together melted "butter", aqua faba, sugar, salt and cocoa powder
  • add in the flour slowly whisking
  • use a metal spoon and fold in the choc chips &/or the nuts
  • spoon into the loaf tin
  • cook for approx 35 mins.

These were cooked at 180C for 40mins and were quite crispy on the outside and crumbly. I think dropping temp and time would help resolve this one.


Brownies (aqua faba)

Tried a new Brownie recipe today - using Black Bean aqua faba, This was based on the recipe from https://eclecticerica.com/ooey-gooey-fudgy-vegan-brownies-using-aquafaba/ These were quite crumbly - not sure if they are supposed to be or whether adding a bit of banana might be worth it next time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Trex Dairy Free butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 6 tbl of aqua faba (this is equal to two eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of (dairy free) chocolate - either drops or broken up pieces
  • 1/3 cup of nuts
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Use a loaf tin, line with greaseproof paper
  • Pre heat oven to 175C
  • whisk together melted "butter", aqua faba, sugar, salt and cocoa powder
  • add in the flour slowly whisking
  • use a metal spoon and fold in the choc chips &/or the nuts
  • spoon into the loaf tin
  • cook for approx 35 mins.

These were cooked at 180C for 40mins and were quite crispy on the outside and crumbly. I think dropping temp and time would help resolve this one.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Vanilla Cupcakes - aqua faba style

These have been my best success for cupcakes, I am now hoping to us this recipe for a birthday cake in the next couple of weeks so will let you know how that goes. This makes 15 cup cakes (20mins) or one 8" cake (25-35mins), using the middle shelf in the oven.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 2 & 1/4 cups of self raising flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Pinch salt

Wet

  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp aqua faba (chickpea straight from can)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180C
  • Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl (big)
  • Mix together the wet ingredients in a second bowl (small) - lightly whisk
  • Slowly add wet to dry ingredients, mixing with a fork as you go
  • Once combined do not over mix but put into the cupcakes or tin straight away
cupcakes before going in oven
Rising in oven
 The final product

Additional Note [03/05/2016] 

I used this recipe for a 8" tin birthday cake, it worked well but took nearly 40mins to cook all the way through and even then it seemed dense in the middle, and was a bit crumbly. I did, however, stick it together with some vegan butter icing - which was brilliant and easier to make than the instructions suggested. I will post the recipe soon.