Banana, Blueberry & Coconut Bundt Cake

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is an all natural coloured blueberry glaze. Allllllll natural…!

I baked this little beauty on a hot sunny day last August. It followed on from the success of the gin cake….i’m obsessed with bundt tins! I really loved making this cake, it was easy to make and easy on the eye! Tasted  pretty damn good too!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

255g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs
270g golden caster sugar
2 over ripe bananas (mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml corn oil
285g of blueberries
100g toasted coconut, (Optional: plus 50g more for sprinkling on top)

To make blueberry glaze:

75g blueberries
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
450g icing sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 175c (350f) and lightly grease your bundt pan with butter before dusting with flour.

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2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set to one side.

3. In a separate bowl, cream your eggs and sugar until light and fluffy!

Tip: Don’t skimp on this part!

4. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and oil and mix until well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter in to your bundt tin.

Tip: The batter will seem very thick and gloopy – its ok!

6. Bake the cake for round an hour (start checking after 45 minutes). The cake will be ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean and free of cake batter.

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7. Set your cake aside to cool completely

8. To make the blueberry glaze: Place the blueberries, water and caster sugar in to a pan and heat until the mixture boils and the blueberries burst.

9. Remove from the heat and push the mixture through a sieve; set aside to cool.

10. Once the blueberry mixture has cooled, sift in the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

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Tip: If the glaze is too thick, add a tbs of water at a time to achieve a pouring consistency.

11. Pour the glaze on top of you Banana, blueberry and coconut cake and sprinkle with left over coconut!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Love S & P xx

Braided Nutella Bread

IMG_2085Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of our lovely American friends (especially my lovely Texan friend Tim, his beautiful wife Katie and their GORGEOUS baby daughter Livy!) – Baby’s first Thanksgiving!

We helped celebrate it by eating a turkey roast and drinking prosecco! yummy! 🙂

We started our advent calendars this week – when you start a day with    chocolate it really is downhill from there….it seems only right to add a little more chocolate in to the mix!

Hands up – this isn’t one of my recipes! In fact, this particular recipe has been doing the rounds very recently! Its super easy, just takes a little time as the dough needs to prove. The original recipe can be found here.

Dont be disheartened if this doesn’t turn out quite right the first time round…its so yummy an simple it will still taste great! Mine tends to have quite a chewy texture which I love but if your not so keen then you could try adding a little more yeast in to the recipe to encourage the bread to rise more. It’s also worth noting the dough will prove more successfully if it is left somewhere warm.

Anyway, thats enough of that – Have fun making and baking!

Ingredients:

• 400g of plan flour
• 7g yeast (1 sachet)
• 250ml of water
• a teaspoon of salt
• a tablespoon of golden caster sugar
• Nutella (room temp)
• one egg (to glaze)

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 180c and connect the dough hook attachment to your stand mixer.

2. Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast to your stand mixer and turn to a low setting, just to mix the ingredients together.

3. Next, slowly add the water to the ingredients whilst the mixer is still on a low setting. Once all the water has been added turn the mixer up to a medium high setting and leave to mix for around 15mins.

Tip: This is quite a wet dough – if you feel it needs to be kneaded a little more then add a little more flour to the dough and keep your mixer on a little longer.

4. Whilst the dough is mixing, get another bowl and lightly oil it with vegetable oil. Place the dough you recently made in the bowl and cover it with cling film.  Leave it in a warm place for about an hour and your dough should double in size.

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5. After an hour you can remove your dough from the oil bowl and place it on a surface dusted with flour.

Tip: Because this is quite a wet dough, feel free to incorporate a little more flour in to the dough as you knead it.

6. Cut the dough in to 3 equal amounts.

7. Roll each of the 3 dough balls in to 3 separate circles – roughly the same size.

8. Take the Nutella and with a pallet knife or the back of a spoon, spread an even layer on the surface of the first circle of dough.

Tip: Ensure you leave about half an inch of Nutella free dough around the edge of the circle.

9. Repeat the above step with the remaining two circles of dough.

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10. Place the ‘Nutella pizza’ on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.

11. Use a sharp knife to cut ‘slits’ in the dough – make sure that you don’t cut right to the middle of the circle. Please see pictures for guidance.

12. For every cut you made, twist the ends round in to a spiral shape. See pictures for guidance.

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13. Once you have twisted your dough, cover it with cling film and leave it for a further 20 minutes.

14. After 20 mins – brush your dough with the egg wash and place in the over at 180c for 20 mins.

15. After 20 mins – raise the temperature of the oven up to 220c for a further 5 minutes.

16. Your bread is done! 🙂 Leave on the baking try to cool and then dig in!

Tip: This bread tastes best when its served warm so if you are eating it a couple of days after its bake just zap it in the microwave for around 15 seconds 🙂

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Enjoy!

Love S & P x

Orange & Sultana Cinnamon Swirls

IMG_2019What a crazy couple of weeks! I’ve been so super busy, I’ve not had time to make or bake a thing!

Apart from my Sister’s fabulous 40th birthday party, the gigs I’ve attended (Queens of the Stone Age & Depeche Mode), a Blackpool trip to see the illuminations (lots of fun!) and an amazing family Wedding – I feel like my life consists mainly of work and the bloody 30 day shred! (Which is actually amazing to be honest, I highly recommend!). Doesn’t seem all that bad when its written down! 😉

Never fear! I have been plotting and planning and I am very excited to share today’s recipe with you! 🙂

I am a complete pastry fiend and getting myself past the bakery section of the supermarket proves to be a personal challenge. As far as I am concerned Cinnamon Swirls are the stuff dreams are made of, the food of the gods. A couple of months ago we introduced Cinnamon Swirl Friday at work…..its proved very popular but this is the first time i’ve ever actually made some!! Another tick on my ‘To Do’ list 🙂

Apparently the first Cinnamon roll was baked in Sweden and they even have their own ‘National Cinnamon Bun Day’ on 4th October! Amazing! A little late this year but think i’m going to make it my personal mission to celebrate this yummy occasion with the lovely Swedes every year! 🙂

Anyway, on to the ingredients & recipe…..enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast or 1½ tsp dried yeast
  • 75g butter, room temp
  • 200ml milk, room temp
  • 2 large eggs (Free range), plus one egg yolk, for glazing
  • vegetable oil, for oiling

For the filling

  • 200g sultanas
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

For the syrup

  • 50g golden caster sugar

Recipe:

1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a stand mixer using a dough hook. Crumble in the fresh yeast/dried yeast and then rub the softened butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until you there are no large lumps left.

2. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the milk and 1 egg into the well. Again, mix together in the stand mixer using the dough hook.

Remember: This is quite a sticky dough – keep mixing until all of the flour is incorporated, this will soak up the liquid.

3. Once your dough is mixed, turn it out onto a clean surface and knead for around 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dont be afraid to really go for it! 🙂

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IMG_1918Tip: Cut a small piece of the dough off and stretch the dough as thin as you can – Hold it up to the light, if you can see light shining through the dough and you can see the shadow of your fingers held behind the thinnest part, your dough is ready!

4. Your dough will now need to prove. Put the dough in a bowl that has been coated in a little vegetable oil, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 90 minutes.
Now you can make the filling! Mix the sultanas with the orange zest and poor in the juice of the orange (about 100-125ml) and set aside for around an hour.

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Tip: You can make the sultana and orange mixture the day before if you like!

5. Using the standard wire beater attachment, beat the sugar, cinnamon and softened butter until well combined.

6. Lightly grease the base and sides of a roasting tin or stoneware dish with butter and line with baking parchment.

7. After 90 minutes your dough should have nearly doubled in size. Tip the dough out of the bowl and knock the air out of it.

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8. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about the thickness of a £1 coin. This can be hard work as its quite elastic but its worth it! Keep going until the longest side of your rectangle is about 14cm long.

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Tip: Be quite forceful with your rolling pin, really press down to help roll the dough in to a rectangle shape.

9. Using a spatula or palette knife, spread the cinnamon paste over the surface of the dough – make sure you get it right to the edges and in the corners

10. Drain the orange soaked sultanas (keep the juice to one side for now!) then sprinkle the sultanas evenly over the dough.

11. Now you can roll the dough up in to a sausage shape. Make sure you roll it up length ways, starting with the long side of the rectangle shape.

Tip: Flour your work surface and lay the rolled dough on top of the flour before cutting into it.

12. Cut your dough in to around 12 evenly sliced pieces. (I got 15 – I might have rolled the dough too thin?).

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13. Place the slices next to each other with the spiral shape facing up, into the greased & lined tin. Again, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes.

14. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

15. After 45 minutes the buns should have risen and feel springy. Beat the remaining egg and egg yolk together in a small bowl, and brush over the buns with egg glaze. This will help them brown and give them a lovely deep colour.

16. Bake the buns at 200C/Gas 6 for 10 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 180C/Gas 4. Cook for a further 20 minutes.

17. Whilst the buns are in the oven, you can make the syrup. Pour the remaining orange juice from soaking the sultanas into a small saucepan with the golden caster sugar. Gently heat the mixture, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once all of the sugar has dissolved you can set it to one side.

18. As soon as the buns have finished baking, remove them from the oven and brush over them with the orangey syrup so that the flavour can soak in – Yummy!

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19. Leave the buns in the tin for around 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

20. Finally, once the buns are completely cool, use icing sugar to drizzle over them for a finishing touch! I used a piping bag for a little extra precision but don’t be afraid to go for it free hand! 🙂

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Remember: You really wont need to use much icing sugar at all as these buns are already very sweet – I think it just makes them look a little prettier!

Enjoy! S & P x