Banana, coconut and dark chocolate muffins

banana-coconut-muffins

Want to whip up a “not too naughty” treat in less than half an hour after dinner? Look no further than these tasty little banana, coconut and dark chocolate muffins. The banana gives the muffins a real ‘mositness’ and with the crunchy coconut on top and melted chocolate inside it’s the perfect accompaniment. These are perfect for a morning tea snack or a sweet treat after dinner with a good hot cuppa.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • dark chocolate chunks

Makes 10

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Stir together flour and baking powder. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate.

Divide batter among 10 lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins are puffed and golden. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

Enjoy with a pot of delicious Sencha green tea!

Happy baking, love Jem x

Butter cake with white chocolate icing

butter cake

I made this scrumptious little number on the weekend for my partners birthday and it went down a treat! The inside moist, the icing rich and the freshness of the blueberries was just the perfect complement. This butter cake recipe is great for the base of a simple cake and then it can be jazzed up into something amaaaazing! I’d recommend adding berries to the cake mix if you want another element of flavour inside. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but this icing is the bloody best – I couldn’t stop licking the bowl. Betty Crocker aint got nothing on me. You add substitute the blueberries for fresh raspberries or strawberries. For those sweet tooth bakers why not add white chocolate shavings on top 😉

Ingredients

Butter cake

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

White chocolate icing

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 280g unsalted butter
  • 280g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • blueberries to decorate

Method
Before starting make sure the eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease the base of a round cake pan.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add the flour and milk, alternating in batches, until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of a small palate knife to smooth the surface. Bake for about 25-30 minutes minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool in pan for about five minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whilst the cake is cooling it’s time to make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water then leave to cool slightly. In a large bowl beat the butter and icing sugar together until creamy, then mix in the chocolate and vanilla extract.

Spread the cake with the icing and smooth with a palate knife. Decorate it beautifully with blueberries and dust with icing sugar. YUM!!

Happy baking, love Jem x

Mini baked cheesecakes

cheesecake

Do you love cheese and cake? How about combining the two and creating a mouth watering, lick-the-plate kind of dessert… These mini baked cheesecakes are a mixture of a cheesecake and custard tart, and they are damn delicious! They are the perfect dinner party dessert as you can whip them up the night before, store in the fridge and then serve with delicious fruit and of course ice-cream! I’m sure you won’t be able to stop at just one though…

Ingredients

  • 250g plain sweet biscuits
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 500g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can passion fruit pulp and fresh strawberries to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 160°C and line a cupcake tin with baking paper/two cupcake cases.

Crush biscuits until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter and mix thoroughly until combined. Press mixture into base of cupcake cases. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla and lemon rind until smooth, then add the eggs. Pour evenly in to each cupcake case. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool then remove the cheesecakes from cupcake cases and refrigerate overnight.

Serve the cheesecakes with passion fruit pulp, fresh strawberries and a dollop of vanilla bean ice-cream.

Happy baking, love Jem x

Raspberry, coconut and pear loaf

loaf

Raspberry, coconut and pear ahh what wonderful ingredients to make a healthy yet scrumptious afternoon sweet. I personally adore banana bread, but every time I finish a generous slice I feel like I’ve just eaten a huge piece of cake – the beauty about this loaf is that it’s butter free, light and fluffy, and the pear just adds another texture and sweetness. This is the perfect recipe to take to afternoon tea (like I did today – and my grandparents loved it), or just to keep in the fridge as a healthy dessert option.

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, peeled, and core removed
  • 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 270g can light coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.

Cut the pear into small pieces. Combine the flour, coconut and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together the coconut milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Gently stir in the pears and frozen raspberries make suring you don’t over mix. Spoon into the pan and smooth the surface.

Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warmed up with a dollop of natural yoghurt, or toast a piece with a smear of butter.

Happy baking, love Jem x

Lemon and coconut slice

image (1)

Lemon slice always screams spring to me – a no bake dessert with fruit, what could be yummier on a sunny spring day? I love this recipe, it’s simple to make, the flavour of the coconut balances the lemon; and it is simply a winner as a dessert or cheeky snack. Coconut to me works with any recipe, the texture adds another element to every dish. I didn’t crush the biscuits for the base finely, as I like that bumpy feel you get when you crunch into it. This slice won’t keep long in the fridge, especially if you’re in a family of four or more…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 125g butter
  • 250g milk arrowroot/sweet biscuits
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbl lemon juice
  • 15g butter
  • handful of coconut, to sprinkle on top

Method

Place condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter is melted and mixture has combined.

Crush biscuits and place in a large bowl. (I crush by placing the biscuits in a plastic bag). Then add lemon rind and coconut. Mix through with a wooden spoon. Add the warm milk and butter to the biscuit crumb mixture. Combine until a sticky and consistent.

Press mixture in a greased tin or a baking dish with baking paper. Refrigerate for about an hour or until hard.

For the icing combine sifted icing sugar, lemon juice, and soft butter in a bowl. Mix well until smooth. Spread over chilled biscuit base and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate until icing is set.

Cut a generous slice and dig in!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Banana muffins

banana muffins

Gluten free, sugar free and tastes amazing? Yes it is true, these scrumptious little bites of heaven are in fact healthy and delicious! I personally love banana bread and these muffins come a close second. This winner recipe is short, simple and sweet. There’s nothing I dislike more then reading a “paleo recipe” with about 40 steps and including ingredients you probably haven’t even heard of, well I haven’t heard of anyway… These muffins are a perfect healthy treat for the 5:2 diet, a snack in the old work lunch, or even a little dessert after dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely

Makes 9

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a muffin tray.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.

Then pour the batter into prepared tray, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are set and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow muffins to cool before removing.

Store in an air-tight container after sneaking a few of course…

Happy baking, love Jem x