Banana-Smartie Cakes

Ban-artie Cakes??

It’s been a while since I last tried doing something cake-related, so decided to modify one of my earlier ideas (which in itself was a twist on something else I’d seen online) and created another batch of an old favourite, with a new twist – banana cupcakes, with Smarties mixed in. Who hasn’t got time for Smarties?

This is an easy recipe to follow, and isn’t too time-consuming.

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You’ll need:

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

120 grams (1/2 cup) melted butter or margarine

2 large bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roughly two and a half tubes’ worth of Smarties (or chocolate chips for a similar result)

Cake cases

This mixture will yield 22 cupcakes.

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In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and mix together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy ideally.

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Mix in the Smarties, then spoon into each cake case.

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Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F), then place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes.

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They turned out great! Banana cake is always nice, regardless of what you add to it, and isn’t too difficult to make, so I’d recommend something like this if you’re looking for something simple but fun.

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Banana-cherry-choc split cupcakes

It’s cake, who needs an excuse?

It was ‘National Cupcake Week’ last week apparently, but to be honest I was in the mood to try something new anyway. Already being a fan of the banana cake recipe (originally found online but modified by myself a couple of times since), I thought I’d try to twist it again. I decided to split the mixture into two portions (I spooned roughly one third into another bowl) and added glace cherries to the larger mixture, and chocolate powder to the smaller, then layered them. Here’s the method I used.

You’ll need:

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

120 grams (1/2 cup) melted butter or margarine

3 large bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glace cherries, chopped

Chocolate milkshake powder

A splash of milk

Cake cases

This mixture will yield 18 cupcakes.

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In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and mix together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy ideally.

Spoon roughly one third of this cake mix into another bowl, and put the smaller mix aside for a moment. Add the chopped glace cherries to the larger bowl and mix in. Going back to the smaller mix, spoon in about half a teaspoon of chocolate powder mixture, and add just a splash of milk, to help mix it in. Continue stirring until it starts taking on a chocolate colour and the milk has been absorbed, adding in a little more chocolate powder as you stir to help this along.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F). Spoon the banana and cherry cake mixture evenly into your cake cases, then spoon the chocolate-banana mixture on top of each. Place in the oven to bake of 25-30 minutes.

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I was quite happy with how these turned out, and they definitely went down well with everyone. I didn’t really know how to name them, but ‘Banana-cherry-choc split cupcakes’ seemed the most precise!

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Hope you enjoyed reading, I enjoyed eating them!

Bangers and mash, with a twist!

Pork sausage balls with sweet & sour sauce and spring onion, on a sage and onion mash potato cake.

Here’s proof that not all experiments turn out as hoped, but without necessarily being a failure as such – some might call this a ‘deconstruction’! A friend showed me this recipe recently http://marinecorpsnomads.com/2012/09/shepherds-pie-cupcakes.html, and I couldn’t resist attempting to put my own twist on it, using the ‘cupcake idea’ but creating my own recipe for it. Whilst it might not quite have gone to plan (made some rookie mistakes), the end result was still enjoyable – it was less a ‘cupcake’ and more a meatball. Nonetheless, a recipe I will revisit, with some tweaking.

You’ll need:

About 8oz of potatoes (around 4 large potatoes), mashed – this makes six potato cakes
Sage and onion stuffing
2 spring onions, chopped
2 375g packs of pork sausage meat – this makes nine meatballs
One sachet of sweet and sour sauce (or any S&S sauce, but leave out the pineapple and water chestnuts, unless you wish to use them)
Margarine
Optional – two eggs (you’ll see why below)

For the sage & onion Potato cakes:

Boil and mash the potatoes as normal, with a little margarine. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (375f). Prepare some stuffing (how much you use will really come down to personal taste) and mix into the mash. Using a pastry cutter, mould the mash into circular shapes on a greased tray, as shown. Put in the oven, middle tray, for about 20 minutes.

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I was most satisfied with how these turned out – eaten hot or cooled to room temperature, these were very nice.

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For the sausage balls:

The method for these was improvised on the spot. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (375f). With great care, open the sausage meat packs into a bowl. Add the chopped spring onions, and mix. Add in some of (not all of) the sweet and sour sauce, and stir in, and if desired, continue to add in a little more, stirring in each time until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the sausage mix into a greased cupcake tray to fill each mould. Now the mistake I made here was not using eggs to bind the meat together, which would’ve helped to keep the cupcake shape, but if you wish create a meatball shape, these won’t be necessary. Also bear in mind there will be some shrinkage.
Put in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, then with some care, turn them over and repeat, to get a nice golden colour on both sides. I shall be aiming to tweak this method in future, seeing if I can reduce the cooking time, so if you try this for yourself you may wish to play with the cooking times.

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A new twist on an old recipe – deconstructed bangers and mash, anyone? Enjoy!

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Banana-Choc Mystery Cakes

A couple of months ago, Mystel made some cupcakes with Reece’s Pieces as centres, and that inspired me to try this, instead using a tin of mixed chocolates. With chocolate being available absolutely everywhere at this time of year, I thought I’d try doing something a little different with them. Modifying this recipe here http://www.thelondoner.me/2012/07/nutella-swirl-banana-muffins.html (not for the first time – I’ve previously attempted Banoffee and Vanilla Vodka cakes based on that, I might blog that one another time), this is the method I used. The ‘mystery’ part comes in not knowing which chocolate will be in the centre until you take a bite.

For the banana mix, much of it is identical to that recipe above (removing the Nutella section), but I used four bananas, made them more cupcake-sized, and adjusted the cooking time accordingly.

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten

113 grams (1/2 cup) melted unsalted butter

4 large ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A tin of mixed chocolates of your choice – I chose Celebrations.

Using these measurements, you’ll be able to make 26-28 cupcakes.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F). In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and gently fold together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy.

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Add a small amount of the mixture to each cake case, then place a chocolate on top, then add further mixture in to cover – make sure that each is covered properly, as it can lead to some mess come cooking time, as I admittedly discovered!

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, though do check after 25 minutes, testing with a knife through the cake part (not the centre) to ensure it is cooked through. The knife should come out clean. Below are examples of how mine turned out – there were a few where the chocolate had come through to the top (being a first time experiment, I expected one or two slight errors) but overall I was pleased with how they turned out.

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One or two messy ones – whoops! Still tasted great.

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The final result!

 

Egg and Bacon Cupcakes

Savoury cupcake, anyone?

Here’s something I thought I’d try after seeing the results from one of my online friends – I very rarely eat bacon or eggs, but couldn’t resist the urge to experiment too.

It’s simple enough – just lightly fry your bacon rashers first (how ever many you wish to make), just long enough so that it’s nicely fried but not crispy. Remove any excess oil and place inside the cupcake tray.

Crack an egg into each holder, add anything else if wanted – a little cheese for example, whch I tried in my second batch.

Place in the oven, gas mark 5. I cooked the first batch for 18 minutes, following a recipe I found online. The photos below show how they tuned out.

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My family enjoyed these, so this was a definite success.

A few days later, I made another two but at the reduced cooking time of 15 minutes, to see if I could get a softer yolk – this worked, but to attempt getting a runny yolk next time, I’m going to attempt separating the yolk from the white first, then adding it a few minutes into cooking; I will update when I have a result. Taking them out short of the 15 minute mark, using this current method, meant that the egg white wouldn’t cook through.

In the meantime, here’s how the second two turned out, with the one I added cheese to.

With cheese, added before cooking.

With cheese, added before cooking.


The second batch.

The second batch.


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