Soft As A Cloud- Banana Cake

 

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Soft as a cloud 

Now that I’m working from home, I find myself wandering around the kitchen, looking to stuff my face, more frequently than usual…a bit like Yogi Bear, minus the pic-a-nic basket- but with the bearlike appetite.

 Prudently, I’ve taken to yoga & replacing all snacks to fruits! While this military behaviour works well for the 1st couple of days, the charm begins to wear off & given the general lack of interest in eating healthy, my kitchen is soon laden with slightly overripe fruit. Not a great situation, no.

So, after a good amount of research, I’ve come across a few great bakes that require ripened banana. And it’s a complete win, this situation, as A- The banana is the quickest & easiest form of energy intake & B- My kitchen is no longer a ripe old forest of mushy bananas! Yay!

 Now, banana cakes always make me happy- the aroma, moistness & the fact that they are simply the easiest to bake! All this month, I’ve been experimenting with this new recipe & every time I bake it; the cake just seems too be getting lighter, fluffier & tastier! It’s almost like a friend that never, EVER, lets you down (God, I have to get out of the house more often)!

The steps to this recipe are ridiculously simple & it would be a crime to keep it to myself. What I like most about this bake is that every ingredient is so easily available at home.

 You need..

2-3 large over ripe & speckled bananas

½ Cup castor sugar

1/3 Cup canola oil

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 ¼ Cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp soda bicarbonate

1 tsp cardamom powder

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

A handful chopped walnuts, dried figs & I also added dried rosemary. for a healthier option, use a handful of mixed seeds- such as flax, sunflower & pumpkin.

All you do is:

  • Pre heat the oven to 180 C.

  • Line an 8×8 inch baking tin with baking paper. Tricky but fun, once you get the hang of it.

  • Sift flour, baking powder, soda bicarb & cardamom – add the nutmeg & keep aside.

  • Using a food processor (the easiest way) whiz together the bananas, oil, vanilla & eggs till completely mixed; about 3 spins.

  • Evenly spoon over the flour mix onto the wet mix, in the processor & whiz only about twice- do not dump in the flour as it tends to make the batter lumpy. Do not over mix as this would lead to a tough & heavy cake.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin, scatter the nuts or seeds & bake for about 25 minutes.

  • The cake when done should be a lovely golden brown & pass the skewer test- or should come out dry when skewer inserted.

  • Take the cake out of the oven & let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes before you cool it on a wire rack.

  • I love to cut up this pillowy soft cake into chunky squares & pile ‘em high to serve. You could also dust the slices with icing sugar or wrap the slices in baking paper & twine.

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Wrap slices in baking paper with twine.

 

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Pile ’em high!

See how easy & healthy this cake is?

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Golden banana cake with walnut, fig & rosemary

This is when I say “Enjoy”..

Pasta with Pine Nuts & Goats Cheese

Tonight, try this easy pasta dinner, perfect to curl up in front of the TV with! Rotelle is one of my favorite pasta shapes coz it traps the pasta sauce really well plus it’s fun to play with while you eat! 

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You’ll Need:

 

         300g Rotelle Pasta

          3-4 cloves garlic, sliced

         250g mushrooms, roughly sliced

          50g green peas, blanched

         100g dried figs, stoned, halved

         200g goats cheese, crumbled

         225g spinach, blanched

         3 tbsp lemon-infused olive oil

         2 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted

          salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

         Shaved Parmesan cheese, as much as you need

 

You gotta:

 

.                Gently heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Toss in sliced garlic, cook till soft but not brown. Add mushrooms + a little salt & pepper, cook for a few minutes. Add figs & allow softening.

.                Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until perfectly al dente. Drain the pasta, and immediately transfer to saucepan. Add the blanched peas & gently mix in the goats cheese, coating pasta & vegetables well!

.                Finally mix in blanched spinach. Adjust taste with salt & pepper. Remember not over salt as parmesan cheese is added at the end. Toss gently.

.                Serve in a warmed pasta plate with a generous sprinkling of toasted pine nuts & heaps of parmesan shavings!

.                Can drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor!