Love bake nourish

Banana cinnamon cake

After dealing with some health issues at the end of last year, I decided to take a step back and simplify my life. The important things had to come first. I needed time and space to look after my little family. And as the carer of that family I also had to take care of me! So for the last few months I’ve been taking time out from the blog. Putting back in after a hectic year writing both for here and for High Tea Cast.

Banana cinnamon cake

For the first month I didn’t bake at all (there may have been a tiny exception for someone’s birthday). It felt good and I think we all benefited from the reduction in sugar. But then as time went on I could no longer resist. The wee one loves it and I really want to teach her the skills. So while continuing to bake sweet treats for the occasional birthday I have been trying to make my “everyday” bakes more nourishing.

I rarely bake the same cake twice but after trying the banana cinnamon cake from Love Bake Nourish: Healthier cakes, bakes and puddings full of fruit and flavour with my trusty sidekick I knew I would be back. It is delicious. Despite using wholegrain flour which can often be heavy and dry this is light and moist. Not to mention the flavour. Plump sultanas soaked in earl grey tea add an extra flavour dimension to the banana and cinnamon. So basically this is my new favourite cake and I may be making it a lot.

Although I intend to bring you more delicious muffin recipes at some point, I am still in need of some care and attention myself as well as trying to get my head around a low cobalt diet. So please be patient with me and in the meantime I’d highly recommend Love Bake Nourish.

Love Bake Nourish book

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Banana loaf muffin

Banana loaf muffin

Do you remember the ultimate question? If not, here’s a quick reminder, should I bake banana loaf or banana muffins? Is it possible to switch the recipes around? Let’s try! The first mash up (sorry!), banana muffins disguised as loaf worked really well so next up I attempted banana loaf as muffins.

I’m sure you’re familiar with lemon curd (a lemony spread or dessert made with lemon juice and eggs) but have any of you heard of banana curd? Curiosity got the better of me when I saw a jar in my local farm shop. I just had to buy it and as it turns out the smooth banana paste is certainly a nice alternative to the usual curds spread on toast or I’m sure however you choose to eat it.

In this case it is the perfect addition to these spicy gingerbread-esque muffins from one of my favourite recipe books, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Banana curd in banana loaf muffin

Have you tried an unusual curd? Did you incorporate it into your baking?

Banana muffin loaf

Mini banana loaf with knife

It’s a nice dilemma to have, banana loaf or banana muffins? Sometimes you just don’t have the time to makes individual muffins so a loaf has a convenience factor. Just mix up the batter and pop in a loaf tin before baking in the oven. Done! Well, done after an hour or so. It doesn’t exactly cook very quickly.

Sliced banana loaf

Muffins on the other hand take a bit longer to prepare but then cook in as little as 25 minutes (even less if you use mini tins). Perfect if you need a snack in a hurry i.e. if a friend is dropping by for coffee.

While pondering this, the ultimate question, it struck me that it might be possible to switch up the recipes. Banana muffin loaf? Banana loaf muffins? I just had to try!

First up, I made my basic no-frills banana muffin recipe but instead of putting the mixture into my muffin tin I popped the whole lot in a loaf tin. The result is a tasty and convenient sweet snack.

Mini banana loaves

Have you tried this with any other muffin recipe?

Blueberry banana muffins

As promised, it’s time for the most classic of all muffins, blueberry. With so many great recipes out there it was difficult to decide what to bake…

Blueberry in front of muffin

You’ll know by now that I’m not really into the classic so my blueberry muffins needed to have a twist. I really want to create healthier muffins and blueberries are a great way to do that. Also bananas. I had a few that turned brown while I was off celebrating the wedding of two friends. This recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction sounded delicious. I’m not quite ready to give up all my sugar just yet but this seemed to have a good balance between sugar and honey.

Straight from the oven they looked stunning! They were well risen and the blueberries were bursting through the cake tops in a burst of sticky fruity messiness. And I was right, the flavour was amazing! It was rich, fabulously fruity and not too sweet.

Blueberry muffin trio

But there was one problem, a soggy bottom! I struggled to get the majority of the muffins out of the tin in one piece. The batter may have been a little too runny so lots of blueberries sank. Next time I’d try them without the added yoghurt and perhaps with fewer blueberries.

Soggy blueberries

Since I made these I found another most delicious sounding blueberry banana muffin recipe over on Dinnerbysusan which is now on my bucket list of recipes to make.

Continue reading Blueberry banana muffins

Banana Muffin

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Even in the heat I feel the need to bake. Especially when there are overripe bananas around that won’t last more than a day or maybe two. I would usually bake banana loaf. There are two recipes that I always fall back on. One is a spicy banana bread almost like a ginger bread and the other perhaps better described as banana tea loaf has strands of banana running through it. Both delicious but muffins are the name of the game right now so muffins it is.

From my favourite book of the moment these banana muffins are a taste extravaganza with not only bananas but dates, cinnamon and pecans as well. They are deliciously moist with a little bit of crunch. One of my trusty testers (it’s a difficult job but someone’s got to do it) suggested they would make the most amazing and interesting sticky toffee puddings for an overindulgent dinner party. Yum!

Even without toffee sauce these are delicious and one I would perhaps attempt again. Maybe  using wholegrain flour? (And definitely having my camera at the ready as soon as they come out of the oven as they dropped within 10 minutes!)

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Continue reading Banana Muffin