Watching Grease with my cherubs on the first day of the summer holidays, I feel the urgent need to bake a treat to celebrate the cosy calm…
Dairy free banana mini muffins
Like Old Mother Hubbard my larder is practically bare of delicious treats so I use what I have – 5 small over ripe bananas that have been begging to be baked into a banana bread for days. I want something more portable than a loaf cake as the cherubs are nagging to go swimming, so spotting my new bottle of sunflower oil I choose fluffy light muffins over heavier banana bread and reason that it is more summery too. To pep up the flavour I grab vanilla extract (always Nielson Massey) and white couverture powder (Mortimer Chocolate Company) so this decadent muffin is dairy free.
Makes 12 muffins 18 + smaller buns
You’ll need: 3 large or 5 small over ripe bananas 125ml vegetable oil or light olive oil 2 large eggs 100g golden caster sugar or soft brown muscovado for maximum flavour – Billingtons is delicious in baking, it lends toffee/caramel notes to your favourite recipes with no extra effort! 60g Mortimer Chocolate Co White Couveture powder 1tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 225g self raising flour
How to: Preheat your oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas by hand or with a hand mixer. Add the oil, vanilla, eggs then sugar, beating between each addition. Sieve in the flour, chocolate powder and bicarb then beat until thoroughly combined. Pour into cases up to 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 mins until risen, golden and a skewer when inserted comes away clean. Allow to cool for 5 mins before removing from tin and cooling on a wire rack.
Watch as happy faces devour your first batch in moments prompting to you to start the process again!
Alternatives: You can swap the chocolate couverture for cocoa or chocolate chips! For more muffin rise fill cases fully. I tried to make the mix go further but we ate the whole batch whilst still warm regardless!
For a decadent pud in a hurry, I can think of no better way to use up the last pack of hot cross buns…
Hot X Bun & Butter pudding
You will need:
5-6 sliced and buttered with real butter hot X buns
300ml pot double cream
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/ gas mark 3 and butter an ovenproof dish. Arrange your sliced and buttered hot X buns in the dish with crosses on top.
In a jug or mixing bowl whisk the cream, milk, 1 tbsp sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon and whisky and pour over the buns, pressing down and leaving for 20 mins.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pudding and bake until golden and crisp on top and set underneath. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then serve with a little more cream and ice-cream.
You could change the citrus to orange and the liqueur to bourbon, or dried apple and brandy and you could add marmalade to the buns for a more intense flavour. If you are partial to a chocolate hot X bun you can make in the same way with the addition of orange zest and liqueur.
When you want to make an everyday meal a Sunday feast to spoil the family, you need to make a warming traditional pudding. This nursery favourite with the addition of Lemon thyme certainly hits the comfort G spot! (G for greedy)
Light fluffy sponge with silky lemon sauce, serve hot from the oven for maximum pleasure!
You will need:
60g salted butter
120g golden caster sugar
1tsp vanilla bean paste
Zest of two lemons
1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 large organic eggs, separated
60g self-raising flour
280 ml milk
Preheat your oven to 200C/180Cfan/ gas mark 6 and butter an ovenproof dish.
Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon thyme and zest. Add the yolks and flour, beating together to combine fully before adding the lemon juice and milk. Mix well.
In a separate clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm then gently fold into the liquid mix. Pour into the buttered dish and place in a bain-marie (a larger dish/tray and fill with boiling water half way up dishes sides).
Transfer the bain-marie to the oven for approx 40 minutes, until golden and firm on top. Serve each spoonful with the puddings own lemon sauce and a drizzle of double cream. Eat straight away.