Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Note: This recipe can be halved and baked in a 20cmx20cm square pan (8-9inch)
Serves 15 Prep Time: 20 minutes Baking: 50 minutes
360g (3 cups) plain flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
190g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of mashed (very ripe) banana (about 5 medium bananas)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
100g brown sugar
5 scotch finger biscuits, crushed
A handful of dark chocolate chips (to finish)
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line a 23cmx16cm baking dish with parchment paper, and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. With an standing mixer or hand-held electric whisk, beat the softened butter at medium speed for 2 minutes until light.
4. Add in the white sugar, and cream together for an additional 2 minutes at medium speed, until light and fluffy.
5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract as well.
6. Add in the mashed banana and yogurt, and mix for a few seconds until the mixture has combined. It will be quite liquid-y at this point- that's okay.
7. Add in the flour mixture prepared in step 2 and mix at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
8. In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients: the cinnamon, sugar and crushed biscuits.
9. Transfer half the cake batter into the prepared dish. Top it evenly with half the streusel mix. Repeat with remaining cake batter and streusel.
10. Bake for approx. 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached to it. If the top is browning too quickly, place some foil over the cake at the 20 minute mark.
11. As soon as the cake is done and is removed from the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
12. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
-Cake is good for up to 4 days sealed in an airtight container.
Apologies for the two week break in between posts - I've been working quite a bit recently (I'm employable! who would've thought?????) and I was also going into uni for Orientation which was fun and crazy and overwhelming. I don't think being a first year is even a case of being little fish in a big pond - it seems to be much more like a fish out of water situation. I say this because everything seems to be magnified tenfold. Each time I visit the campus, I find new theatres, halls and auditoriums I didn't know existed; there are more people than I could imagine and there are way more stairs than I can handle climbing on a daily basis. I am looking forward to studying courses that I've picked and that I'll most likely enjoy and starting fresh and making the most out of the social/volunteering opportunities, but there's also the prospect of having to meet new people and make new friends, and feeling like you have to present the best and most polished version of yourself all the time which isn't a bad thing but it is very, very tiring.
the little flecks of tea in the dough are my favourite
Having said that, I'm still excited to start this higher education business tomorrow. Maybe I'll bring these along to make the whole meeting people thing a bit easier. They say you don't make friends with salad (probably untrue, salad would win me over) but this isn't salad so you know, it's very possible that it will work out.
This is a super simple recipe, where most of the time is actually spent waiting for the dough to chill down. The actual making of the dough couldn't be easier. The earl grey flavour is dominant without being overbearing, and the cookies are sweet without being sickeningly so.
Icing sugar is used instead of granulated to make the cookie more crisp and short. It also gets incorporated into the butter much quicker as an added bonus! The rest of the ingredients are usual suspects- egg, flour, vanilla. The floral vanilla extract complements the delicate tea flavour like a dream. The texture of the dough is significantly softer than that of say, a chocolate chip cookie, which is why it is chilled and then frozen so that the cookies retain their shape when baked.
I haven't met anybody who didn't enjoy these so definitely give them a go- not so that you can prove me wrong and tell me that you're the first. but because they really are delicious and I'm willing to bet that they're a crowd pleaser. And probably a friend-maker.
that dappled sunlight tho
Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Prep: 15 mins Total: 4 hours (incl. chilling and baking)
300g plain flour
4g earl grey tea leaves (2 tea bags worth, if using loose leaf, make sure to blitz them in a food processor until they are relatively fine)
180g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
120g icing sugar, sifted
1 egg, whisked
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a medium bowl, briefly mix the flour and the tea leaves together.
2. Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric whisk, on medium speed, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
3. Add the egg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. The mixture may take on a curdled appearance- this is fine.
4. Add half of the flour, and mix on low speed until just incorporated, before adding the rest of the flour. It may seem crumbly and dry at first but will come together into a soft dough.
5. Scrape the mixture onto a sheet of cling film, wrap up the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. When the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and divide into two. Dust your hands with flour and roll each half into a log, about 3-4 cm in diameter. Wrap both logs in cling film and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight. It needs to be solid before we bake them off.
7. Preheat oven to 180°C.
8. Slice the logs into 0.5cm medallions and place on a parchment-lined baking tray.
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden, and middles slightly soft. They will firm up upon cooling.
10. Allow to cool completely.
Nothing wins over hearts like peanut butter. It's Valentine's Day and if these cookies don't scream 'i love you' then I'm not sure what does. I'm spending my 14th of February having a girl's night in with junk food and the film Valentine's Day, just so the six of us will be even more aware of the affection we're not getting. I'll be bringing these along, but I think they also make a quick but meaningful gift for a loved one.
I've had my eye on Deb's salted chocolate chunk cookie recipe for a bit. My sister had made them for some colleagues and came back with rave reviews, which definitely pushed them up my 'to make' list, and when a friend from New Zealand brought us some Whittaker's peanut butter chocolate as a souvenir, I knew it was going to happen. There's just something exquisite about PB and salted cookie, isn't there? Deb's recipe calls for dark chocolate, so I reduced the quantity of brown sugar a little to compensate for my use of milk chocolate. Three types of sugar might seem excessive, and feel free to swap out the raw or white for additional brown sugar but I think it's the combination of them that really contributes the overall taste. And they taste incredible.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I hope your day is spent with your loved ones whether it be your friends, family or special person. Make sure to tell somebody that they tickle your pickle ╰(◡‿◡✿╰)
SALTED PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE COOKIES
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Prep: 15 min Cooking: 30min (in batches) Total: 45 min Makes: ~ 13 large cookies
115g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
25g white sugar
25g raw sugar
150 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
A heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cornflour
220g plain flour
170g peanut butter chocolate (e.g. Whittaker's, Reese's pieces, or alternatively, dark chocolate of your choice), chopped into 1/2 cm-1cm chunks
Sea salt, to finish
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together for 5 minutes until light and creamy.
3. Add in the egg and vanilla, and beat until combined.
4. Beat in the baking soda, sea salt and cornflour.
5. Add in the flour, and beat on a low speed until just combined. It will look crumbly as first but should come together.
6. Stir in the chocolate with a spatula.
7. Take 1-1.5 tbsp mounds of the mixture, roll into balls and place them on the baking tray, allowing room for them to spread (about 6 per tray). Top each one with a touch of sea salt.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are lightly golden and the centres are still soft.
9. Allow to cool (but they taste incredible warm).
I'm having a real moment with lighter cakes at the moment. By no means am I saying that I'd turn down a slice of caramel cake that is dense as hell and I'm not even ashamed about the huge amounts of peanut butter chocolate I've inhaled. I literally do not care. But after all that it's nice to have something that doesn't put me in a food coma to pick at for breakfast. Or anytime of the day really, because like I said - I actually don't care. Treat yo'self, all the time.
The base of this cake is the same as my Peachy Keen Coffee Cake, with a couple of adjustments that I think complement this fruit topping even more. I would say that pitting these cherries without a pitter(?) is quite the task. It was pretty amusing to remove the pits like you would an avocado and I'm sure you can imagine this took much longer and a lot more like a murder scene than the peaches.
But it was worth it! The contrast in colour between the cherries and cake is more pronounced than the peach version which makes it look just a bit more exciting.The juices pool in the crevice where the pit used to be, and the cherries become soft and sweeter, sweeping away any apprehension you might have about cooking fruit when it's at its prime, instead of what we all commonly do when it's a little battered and bruised.
The almonds toast in the oven, and add an element of crunch to this light, moist cake.
Please let me know what you think!
1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
70g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)2 tbsp milk
Grated zest of one lemon
Splash of vanilla essence
Handful of flaked almonds
10-12 cherries, pitted and halved
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.2. Grease a 20cm square pan then dust with flour, disposing of the excess, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Whisk together plain flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, set aside.
4. With an hand held electric whisk, or standing mixer, on medium speed, cream butter until it becomes lighter in colour and creamy.
5. Add in brown sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes on medium speed. Make sure to stop and scrape around the sides to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mixture.
6. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute on medium speed in between each one.
7. Mix in the vegetable oil, milk, zest and vanilla essence on low speed until the mixture is glossy- this won't take long at all.
8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Scatter the almonds on top, and then arrange the halved cherries, pressing them lightly into mixture.
9. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until it is lightly golden or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
10. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then remove from the pan and let it cool for a bit longer on the cooling rack. Serve warm.