Tag Archives: dessert

My favorite Banana Bread recipe

This weekend I made the family Banana Bread (banana loaf), which is already gone – yes, in 36 hours (with 2 adults and one 5-year-old devouring it). It was perfect with a latte (or hot chocolate) on these colder days. This recipe easily doubles and you can make two loaves and store one in the freezer in a Ziploc bag.


Ingredients (from the Edmonds Cookery Book)

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
75 g butter (melted)
1 cup of mashed ripe banana (~2-3 banana’s)

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Mix in sugar. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk, butter and banana into egg mixture with a spoon. Quickly add the dry ingredients stirring until just combined. Place mixture in a loaf tin (greased and lined if not using silicone). Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 50-55 minutes (until top is golden brown). Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack.

NOTE: I use very ripe banana’s that I basically have to turn out of the skin for the really banana’ery taste.

NOTE: Once cool store in a Ziploc bag or air-tight container to retain freshness. I usually wait a few hours so you first get the bread with a slight crunch on top.

Serving suggestions:
1. I have eaten as is just as a slice with a cup of coffee or
2. You could try it as a dessert with a hot chocolate ganache and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Both are great!!!

Sweet things: A pear tart

One of my favorite german sweets is a pear tart. What a perfect time of year to make one with pears coming into season and needed to take something to a potluck dinner 🙂

My favorite recipe from “Das Buch vom Backen – Die Grosse Schule” is listed below – it is a pear and almond tart.


155g flour
90g cold butter (diced)
60g sugar
2 egg yolks
1-2 Tbsp ice-cold water (optional – use only if dough does not form a ball)

  1. Combine the flour and the butter, by rubbing in the butter into the flour, until it appears crumbly.
  2. Mix in sugar.
  3. Make a well in center add in the egg yolks with a fork until pastry will stick slightly together to form a ball. If you think it is still too dry add 1 Tbsp of cold water
  4. Put the mixture in glad wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  5. After 30 minutes, place the dough between two plastic pieces of glad wrap and roll the dough out into a circle big enough to fit into a 24cm (~12 in. ) spring form cake tin.
  6. Place dough in the tin, with baking paper covering the dough and weighed down with a pie weight. Place in the oven at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  7. Bake blind (i.e. covered) for 10 minutes, then take off the paper and pie weight bake for 10 more minutes.
  8. Allow the pastry to cool.

165g softened butter
160g sugar
3 eggs
135g almond flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Flour
2 ripe pears (sliced)

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl for approximately 30 seconds.
  2. Add one egg at a time and mix into the cream mixture until well blended
  3. With a metal spoon mix in the almond flour and flour
  4. Place the filling mixture into the pastry.
  5. In a cross formation, place the pears into the filling; largest slices (outside edge) to smallest slices (towards the center).
  6. Place the tart into the oven and bake at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 50 minutes. You need to ensure that the center is cooked.
  7. Take of the spring form cake tin, and allow the tart to cool for two hours.
  8. To serve, sprinkle confectionary sugar (powdered sugar/icing sugar) on top; and serve. The tart goes great with a dollop of whip cream.

Linked up with Tuesday At the Table

Preparations for Halloween

Over the weekend we prepared for halloween. I finished Sean’s Ghost costume, made halloween cupcakes and we carved a pumpkin.

Sean’s Ghost Costume (minus the face paint)Thought it turned out well considering I had no pattern to use.

Halloween Cupcakes 

These are vanilla cupcakes from a previous blog, with a great vanilla butter cream frosting I found on food.com.

Carved Pumpkin

How do you get perfect chocolate covered strawberries?

What do you get if you have toothpicks, styrofoam, melted chocolate and strawberries…..the perfect chocolate covered strawberries; just like the ones you buy.

I hate getting that flat edge on my chocolate covered strawberries. The last time I made them, I had just finished unpacking something that was packed in styrofoam. That gave me an idea….

They tasted as good as they look, you definitely needed more than one 🙂

Upside down plum cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

As I mentioned previously, I love rhubarb but plums are a close second. I decided to try a upside down plum cake (pflaumenkuchen), which was my favorite cake when we were living in Germany.

I loved how it turned out, and it tasted great served warm with a dollop of vanilla sweet whipped cream. Complement with a latte or a latte macchiato.


1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
80ml water
6-8 plums (sliced)
2 eggs
1/3 cup (40g) icing sugar (confectionary sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
100g (1 stick) butter (melted left to cool)
1 cup (125g) flour
2 tsp baking powder

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. Place water and sugar into a pan and heat slowly and stir gently occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue to heat to almost boiling, syrup should become a caramel color (be careful not to burn).
  3. Place the caramelized sugar in a spring form cake tin (~20cm) that has been lined with baking paper. Spread over the paper. Arrange the plums in a circle pattern on top of the sugar.
  4. In a bowl place the eggs, icing sugar and vanilla essence, beat until creamy. Fold the  butter, into egg mixture. Finally, fold in the flour and baking powder to the butter-egg mixture.
  5. Spread the batter over the plums evenly.
  6. Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the sponge springs back. Leave in the form until cool, then gently turn cake and lift the form off. Peel off the baking paper carefully.
  7. Serve warm with a dollop of cream.

Let me know if you have any great cake or tarts using fruit….I love trying new recipes.

Chocolate Tart

Last night for dinner, I decided to try a new recipe and made Chocolate Tarts. They turned  out great, so I decided to share the success.


1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp icing sugar
pinch of salt
50g butter
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp cold water


1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
100g greek yogurt
100g sour cream
1/4 cup cream
1 Tbsp rum

In a bowl place flour, cocoa, icing sugar and salt. Add pieces of the butter to the flour and use fingers to rub the butter into flour until its appearance is like crumbs. Lightly beat the egg yolk and add to the flour with a folk. Add 1-2 Tbsp of cold water to finish the pastry.

Place pastry in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for 20 mins. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 Degrees C). Roll the pastry out – I used individual pie dishes but you can also use a 22cm spring form. Place pastry in the pie dishes, cover with baking paper and pie weights. Place back in the fridge for 20 mins.

Place into oven for 15 minutes, after 15 mins take off the backing paper and bake for an additional 5 mins. Take out of the oven and leave in tray, cool.

In a bowl which is sitting in a pot containing about an inch of water, melt the chocolate and butter over heat. Once melted use a metal spoon to stir in greek yoghurt, sour cream and cream. Place about 1/3 cup of filling into each pie crust.

Leave in the fridge for 4 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and slice strawberries.

Never fail cupcakes

I am still recovering at home from my sinus surgery. This week has been a little more painful than usual, which makes it a little hard to do all the things I wanted to accomplish this week. I have wanted to make updates to posts, with regards to craft projects and the new backyard project, but first I have to finish them somewhat to take photos. After all a photo speaks a thousand words and that is not happening this week unfortunately.

So in the meantime, its been a week or so since I posted recipes. I have recently been trying out some recipes for cupcakes – one specifically for my son’s 5th birthday. Cupcakes, I find a lot of fun as you you can experiment a lot with them and usually end up something all will like.

I have a never-fail recipe I use as a batter starter and from there I get creative. This recipe is very easy to double if you want more than 12 cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcake Batter (from New Zealand Edmonds Cookbook)

125g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

Cream butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs  one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into creamed mixture. Stir in milk. Place 12 paper cupcake cups in a muffin tray. Spoon mixture into the paper cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 C) for 15 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cool decorate as desired.

Chocolate cup cakes
Omit 2 Tbsp of flour. Replace with 2 Tbsp of cocoa (unsweetened).

Here are some of my creations using this batter.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Use the Vanilla Cupcake batter above. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a corer (like an apple corer) and take out the center. Fill the center with lemon curd. To make the Lemon cream cheese frosting:

Mix in a bowl, 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar (confectionary), 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind, 1 tsp lemon juice.

Frost the cupcake.

Dinosaur Cupcakes (my son’s 5th birthday party cupcakes)

For this recipe, I again used the vanilla cupcakes but I switched out the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour and added 1 cup of milk chocolate chips. This made a chocolate chip cupcake.


From there I made vanilla frosting and sprinkled that with green sugar or chocolate frosting with hundred’s and thousands (colored sprinkles). I purchased little dinosaur cupcake toothpicks for decoration.


By the way, I loved this double cupcake tin from Crate and Barrel – it provides a way of carrying 24 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

For this recipe, I used the Chocolate flavored cupcake batter above. I placed the batter into the cupcake cups and before baking pushed a mini Reeses peanut butter cup into the center, then spooned ~1 tsp of batter over the peanut butter cup. Bake following the directions above.

Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting. Freeze 12 mini Reeses cups for 10 minutes. Use a fork or a rolling pin and break up the mini cups. Top each cupcake with one of the broken peanut butter cups.